US Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell struck an upbeat tone in gauging the ability of policymakers to extend the record US economic expansion, while signaling interest rates would probably remain on hold.
“At this point in the long expansion, I see the glass as much more than half full,” Powell said in the text of remarks that he was scheduled to deliver on Monday evening in Providence, Rhode Island. “With the right policies, we can fill it further, building on the gains so far and spreading the benefits more broadly to all Americans.”
On his outlook for borrowing costs, Powell repeated the message that he has reiterated since the Fed lowered rates for the third time this year on Oct. 30, signaling that the policy is on hold.
“We see the current stance of monetary policy as likely to remain appropriate as long as incoming information about the economy remains broadly consistent with our outlook,” he said, adding that it would support a strong labor market and “return inflation decisively to our symmetric 2 percent objective.”
Powell followed up with the well-worn caveat that policy “is not on a preset course” and that the Fed would adjust if there were a “material” change in its outlook.
Fed officials cut rates in the July-to-October period by three-quarters of a percentage point as global growth deteriorated, business sentiment was rocked by uncertainties over trade, and inflation remained stubbornly below target.
Powell cast those cuts as designed to keep the US economy strong and provide insurance against a more serious downturn.
The cuts have proved successful at preventing the year’s woes from significantly eroding the overall outlook for growth in the US, Powell said on Monday.
The Survey of Professional Forecasters showed forecasts for growth are nearly unchanged from where they stood at the beginning of the year, Powell added.
“The full effects of these monetary policy actions will be felt over time, but we believe they are already helping to support consumer and business sentiment, and boosting spending in interest-sensitive sectors, such as housing and consumer durable goods,” he said.
Powell also highlighted the progress that has been made since the Great Recession in getting many in the US off of the sidelines and into the labor force. He pointed especially to gains made late in the expansion by racial minorities, the less educated and the disabled.
Facing the rapidly evolving global COVID-19 pandemic, Citibank Taiwan Ltd (台灣花旗) has proactively taken precautionary measures. “The health and safety of our colleagues and their families, as well as our clients and the communities we serve, are of the utmost importance. We continue to take proactive measures to preserve their well-being while we maintain our ability to serve our clients,” Citibank Taiwan chairman Paulus Mok (莫兆鴻) said in a statement yesterday. “We have local and regional contingency plans in place, and we have well-established business continuity plans for the firm. We are monitoring the situation closely, adjusting our operations accordingly,
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