Fed Chair Jerome Powell answers CBS News 60 Minutes questions about the recent U.S. economic outlook.

Dan Rochefort

2019-03-29 12:28:00 Fri ET

Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell answers CBS News 60 Minutes questions about the recent U.S. economic outlook and interest rate cycle. Powell views the current U.S. economic outlook as a favorable one. The federal funds rate hits the neutral threshold where the U.S. economy operates near full employment with low inflation. Powell reiterates the *patient* approach to further raising the interest rate as the U.S. economy grows at a moderate pace.

Although about 7 million Americans fall behind their auto loan payments and retail sales decline at the highest pace in the post-crisis period, Powell remains positive about U.S. economic growth in 2019-2020. As the American real GDP growth rate increases above 3%, there are healthy upticks in both wage growth and consumer confidence.

In light of the recent Sino-U.S. trade and Brexit negotiations, Powell considers the biggest macro risk to be a likely economic output slowdown in China and Europe. Powell considers the U.S. financial system to be more resilient with high capital buffers that help absorb extreme losses in key times of severe financial stress. The Federal Reserve is independent in the generic sense that the monetary authority needs to execute monetary policy decisions in a strictly non-political way.

 


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