Fed chair sees us boom ahead with covid-19 still a risk

Read the article below, and watch the video at the link below, and based on what we have learned about the role of the Federal Reserve, Inflation, Unemployment, role of our currency, and interest rates, in two to three pages, explain why you agree or disagree with Chairperson Powell.  Do not address digital currency.  That is not a principle for us to discuss/learn at this time.

Video Link:

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/60-minutes-jerome-powell-federal-reserve-economy-update-2021-04-11/ (Links to an external site.)

Fed chair sees US boom ahead with COVID-19 still a risk

Christopher Rugaber

ASSOCIATED PRESS

WASHINGTON – The U.S. economy is poised for an extended period of strong growth and hiring, the chair of the Federal Reserve said in an interview broadcast Sunday, though the coronavirus still poses some risk.

Chair Jerome Powell, speaking to CBS’ “60 Minutes,” said he doesn’t expect to raise the Fed’s benchmark interest rate, currently pegged at nearly zero, this year. And he downplayed the risk of higher inflation stemming from sharp increases in government spending and expanding budget deficits.

“We feel like we’re at a place where the economy’s about to start growing much more quickly and job creation coming in much more quickly,” Powell said. “This growth that we’re expecting in the second half of this year is going to be very strong. And job creation, I would expect to be very strong.”

In the wide-ranging interview, Powell said that the Fed is closely studying the development of a digital dollar, but hasn’t yet made a decision on whether to proceed. Powell said last month that the central bank wouldn’t issue a digital currency without approval from Congress.

Powell noted that roughly a million jobs were added in March, when revisions to jobs data in January and February are included. The unemployment rate fell to 6% from 6.2%.

Still, there are about 8.4 million fewer jobs than before the pandemic, and Powell acknowledged that he regularly sees a homeless encampment near the Fed’s headquarters in Washington.

“There’s a lot of suffering out there still,” he said. “And I think it’s important that, just as a country, we stay and help those people. The economy that we’re going back to is going to be different from the one that we had.”

Powell also said the primary risk to the economy remains the pandemic and a breakdown in precautions that Americans have largely taken for the past year.

The risk “is that we will reopen too quickly, people will too quickly return to their old practices, and we’ll see another spike in cases,” he said. “The economy should move ahead. But it can move ahead more quickly to the extent we keep the spread of COVID under control.”