By Senior economics reporter Fed Chairman Jerome PowellFederal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell said Friday afternoon that the most recent monthly gauge
Senior economics reporter
Fed Chairman Jerome PowellFederal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell said Friday afternoon that the most recent monthly gauge of the U.S. labor market fit into an overall picture of a healthy jobs market and economy. In a question-and-answer session in Zurich, Powell said the outlook for the economy remains favorable, describing the future as one likely to reflect continued moderate economic expansion. Powell said the central bank is “not forecasting or expecting a recession.” Repeating his message from Jackson Hole, Wyoming, Powell said there are “significant” downside risks facing the economy and said the Fed is going to monitor all these factors. Read: Weaker job report in August ‘cements’ a Fed interest-rate cut in two weeks In one comment that some watchers could interpret as dovish, or accommodative, Powell said the Fed was worried about inflation getting too low, suggesting that the central bank may act to bolster stubbornly low inflation. Wall Street is pricing in a greater than 90% chance that the rate-setting Federal Open Market Committee will trim its benchmark interest rate by a quarter-percentage point following its Sept. 17-18 meeting, according to CME Group data based on federal-funds futures. Stocks traded modestly higher as Powell discussed the state of the global economy and domestic monetary policy, with the U.S. in its 11th year of a history-setting expansion. The S&P 500 index
and the Dow Jones Industrial Average
were both up by at least 0.2%. Powell said he hasn’t regretted becoming the leader of U.S. central bank, responding to a question that appeared to be a loosely veiled reference to constant attacks the Fed chairman has endured from President Donald Trump who nominated him. Trump has persistently criticized Powell, saying, as recently as Friday morning that he questioned his decision to pick the 66-year-old former lawyer and private-equity investor. Unlike most Fed chiefs, Powell is not a trained economist. “Where did I find this guy Jerome,” the president said via Twitter.
I agree with @jimcramer, the Fed should lower rates. They were WAY too early to raise, and Way too late to cut – and big dose quantitative tightening didn’t exactly help either. Where did I find this guy Jerome? Oh well, you can’t win them all!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 6, 2019
Powell repeated that the Fed makes its decisions in a nonpolitical manner.