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"I don't see a recession" in 2019, Powell said Thursday in an interview at the Economic Club of Washington, D.C.

While markets may be concerned about global trade tensions and slower growth overseas, Powell said there is no evidence of a US recession on the horizon.

Eric Rosengren, president of the Boston Federal Reserve Bank, one of 12 in the Fed system, said financial markets had become "unduly pessimistic" about the economic outlook but like others he agreed policymakers should heed their warning.

Powell also said he didn't see signs of a recession in the near term, but noted that his "principal worry" was a slowdown in global growth and that while the USA economy appears "solid", a slowdown in China "is a concern".

"Against this backdrop, many participants expressed the view that, especially in an environment of muted inflation pressures, the Committee could afford to be patient about further policy firming", said the minutes.

"There is no such plan", Powell said. "We don't get distracted".

The dollar's resilience can be partly explained by the fact that fears are growing about a global recession which has added to the dollar's safe haven appeal, he said. Trump tapped Powell for the post after deciding not to offer then Fed-Chairman Janet Powell a second term.

U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said late on Thursday that Chinese Vice Premier Liu He will "most likely" visit Washington later in January for trade talks. The threats, they said, made the future path of interest rate hikes "less clear".

However, Fed had lowered the growth forecast of the United States economy to 2.3 percent during the latest rate hike in December. He also said he would "be patient" as the central bank determines when to hike interest rates next. It would not want to wait too long to see overseas weakness affect the USA economy, he added.

The central bank's quarterly forecast in December showed Fed officials still expected two more increases in 2019.

Wall Street began raising some concerns on whether the Fed should cut the balance sheet during the same time it raises its benchmark interest rate. He also made clear that applies to the Fed's approach to its US$4.1 trillion balance sheet, which the central bank is now reducing by a maximum of US$50 billion per month.

Powell noted that the Fed's holdings were around $1 trillion before the 2008 crisis. Some policymakers said the Fed could also slow the pace of decline in reserves as it approaches the desired longer-run level.

CNBC reports that the Fed had been holding almost $4.5 trillion worth of mostly Treasurys and mortgage-backed securities, which were accumulated during three rounds of monetary stimulus during and after the financial crisis.


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