Powell made the comments during an interview on CBS News’ “60 Minutes.” In the interview, Powell provided a rosier economic outlook, in contrast to past remarks on the economy’s recovery.
“What we’re seeing now is really an economy that seems to be much at an inflection point,” Powell told “60 minutes” during the interview. “And that’s because of widespread vaccination and strong fiscal support, strong monetary policy support. We feel like we’re at a place where the economy’s about to start growing much more quickly and job creation coming in much more quickly. The outlook has brightened substantially.”
But that’s only if there isn’t another wave of Covid-19.
“The principal risk to our economy right now really is that the disease would spread again. It’s going to be smart if people can continue to socially distance and wear masks,” he told “60 Minutes.”
More than 183 million vaccines
have been administered in the United States, according to CDC data
This comes after minutes
released from the central bank last week underscored that it would be some time “until substantial further progress” was made on employment and inflation. The Fed slashed interest rates to zero
in March 2020 and said it expects to keep interest rates at historically low levels into 2023.
“We did not know how the economy would perform. We did not know the path of the disease,” Powell said in the “60 Minutes” interview. “We had no idea when and how long it would take to do a vaccine.”
When probed if he expected the current economic downturn to mirror anything like the 2008 financial crisis, Powell said that the chances are “very low.” Instead, Powell mentioned “cyber risk” being the main concern, citing examples of large firms losing the ability to track payments its disbursing.