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Fed Chair Powell: Semiannual Monetary Policy Report to the Congress

From Fed Chair Jerome Powell: Semiannual Monetary Policy Report to the Congress. A few excerpts:

“Some of the uncertainties around trade have diminished recently, but risks to the outlook remain. In particular, we are closely monitoring the emergence of the coronavirus, which could lead to disruptions in China that spill over to the rest of the global economy.”
emphasis added

This suggests the Fed might cut rates if the economic impact from 2019-nCov is significant.

“The FOMC believes that the current stance of monetary policy will support continued economic growth, a strong labor market, and inflation returning to the Committee’s symmetric 2 percent objective. As long as incoming information about the economy remains broadly consistent with this outlook, the current stance of monetary policy will likely remain appropriate. Of course, policy is not on a preset course. If developments emerge that cause a material reassessment of our outlook, we would respond accordingly. …

The current low interest rate environment also means that it would be important for fiscal policy to help support the economy if it weakens. Putting the federal budget on a sustainable path when the economy is strong would help ensure that policymakers have the space to use fiscal policy to assist in stabilizing the economy during a downturn. A more sustainable federal budget could also support the economy’s growth over the long term.”

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