29 de mayo de 2020
ÚLTIMAS NOTICIAS:
Hispanic World

US Federal Reserve chief strongly hints at upcoming interest rate cut

Alfonso Fernandez

Alfonso Fernandez

Washington, Jul 10 (efe-epa).-The chairman of the Federal Reserve warned here Wednesday of a worsening outlook for the United States' economy due to persistent trade tensions and global weakness, clearly signaling that an interest rate cut is possible at this month's central bank policy meeting.

"Crosscurrents, such as trade tensions and concerns about global growth, have been weighing on economic activity and the outlook" for the country, Jerome Powell said in remarks to the US House of Representatives' Committee on Financial Services.

He noted that growth in business investment seems to have "slowed notably," while "economic momentum appears to have slowed in some major foreign economies, and that weakness could affect the US economy."

The Fed chairman recalled that the US central bank's policy-making body, the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC), said in a statement after its June meeting that it would act as appropriate to sustain economic expansion "in light of increased uncertainties about the economic outlook and muted inflation pressures."

He also noted that many FOMC participants saw then that "the case for a more accommodative monetary policy had strengthened."

In his remarks on Wednesday, Powell indicated that the Fed has not changed its stance in the ensuing weeks and that data and other developments show that "uncertainties around trade tensions and concerns about the strength of the global economy" remain persistent and "continue to weigh on the US economic outlook."

Despite those concerns, however, Powell said job openings remain plentiful amid a strong US labor market in which the unemployment rate has fallen to just 3.7 percent, close to its lowest level in 50 years.

Market analysts interpreted Powell's remarks as a clear sign that the Federal Reserve may cut its benchmark federal-funds rate - now at a target range of 2.25-2.5 percent - at the next FOMC meeting scheduled for July 30-31.

A reduction in the federal-funds rate would be the Fed's first in more than a decade.

"A rate cut in July is now all but certain. The strength of last week's jobs number did lead some to think that the Fed may pause for thought. It's clear from (Powell's testimony) that they won't," James McCann, senior global economist at Aberdeen Standard Investments, said in a note to clients on Wednesday.

US stocks rose to record highs following Powell's remarks, with the S&P 500 briefly moving above 3,000 points for the first time ever before falling below that threshold at Wednesday's close.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average also hit an intraday high, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite index closed at a record of 8,202.53.

US President Donald Trump has criticized the Fed for raising interest rates four times in 2018, while the central bank said it was returning its target federal-funds rate to a historically normal level after it had been held at near zero following the 2008-2009 global recession.

Trump has promised steady annual economic growth of 3 percent or more and knows that achieving - or coming close to achieving - that goal could provide a big boost to his re-election bid next year.

The Fed released its latest economic projections in June, forecasting that the US economy will grow 2.1 percent this year and 2 percent in 2020.

Rumors have swirled that Trump has been exploring ways to remove Powell as Fed chairman, a move that would be unprecedented.

But on Wednesday Powell stressed that he would not leave his post if Trump tried to force him out.

"Of course, I would not do that. The answer would be, 'No,' ... the law gives me a four-year term and I fully intend to serve it," Powell, whose tenure concludes in February 2022, said.

On Tuesday, the White House's economic adviser, Larry Kudlow, said Powell's job is safe "at the present time." EFE-EPA

Histórico de noticias
Daily COVID-19 pandemic roundup: May 28

Miami Desk, May 28 (efe-epa).- Here's a roundup of stories around the world related to the novel coronavirus pandemic:

With 101,000 deaths, US still unable to slow spread of coronavirus

Washington, May 28 (efe-epa).- The United States, now with more than 101,000 official deaths from Covid-19, on Thursday still has not been able to halt the...

FBI giving top priority to black man's death at hands of Minneapolis police

Washington, May 28 (efe-epa).- The US Department of Justice and the FBI on Thursday issued a joint statement saying that they will undertake a "robust...

Migrants held in US detention centers at the mercy of COVID-19

By Alex Segura Lozano and Laura Barros

Daily COVID-19 pandemic roundup: May 27

Miami Desk, May 27 (efe-epa).- Here's a roundup of stories around the world related to the novel coronavirus pandemic:

NASA-SpaceX launch to International Space Station scrubbed due to weather

Miami, May 27 (efe-epa).- The historic launch of the NASA-SpaceX manned mission to the International Space Station from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida...

Brazil's economic engine announces responsible resumption of activities

By Maria Angelica Troncoso

Expert: Pandemic revealing labor exploitation as in US slavery period

By Jorge Ignacio Perez

Daily COVID-19 pandemic roundup: May 26

Miami Desk, May 26 (efe-epa).- Here's a roundup of stories around the world related to the novel coronavirus pandemic:

Florida expresses interest in hosting GOP conclave if Trump cancels NC event

Miami, May 26 (efe-epa).- Florida's Republican governor, Ron DeSantis, said that his state would love to host the Republican National Convention this summer...

Brazil, its image abroad marred, suffering record capital flight

By Carla Samon Ros

FBI investigating death of black man arrested by white cop

(Update: Adds identity of victim, firing of 4 police officers)

Daily COVID-19 pandemic roundup: May 25

Miami Desk, May 25 (efe-epa).- Here's a roundup of stories around the world related to the novel coronavirus pandemic:

Americans flock to beaches on Memorial Day amid health personnel's concerns

By Alfonso Fernandez

Stranded Colombians send out SOS from Sao Paulo airport

By Carlos Meneses Sanchez

Bogota's Teatro Mayor celebrating 10th anniversary with digital focus

By Jaime Ortega Carrascal

Daily COVID-19 pandemic roundup: May 24

Miami Desk, May 24 (efe-epa).- Here's a roundup of stories around the world related to the novel coronavirus pandemic:

Long weekend puts US efforts to reopen to the test

Washington/Los Angeles, May 24 (efe-epa).- The long Memorial Day weekend is putting local plans around the US to ease coronavirus lockdown restrictions to...

South America's biggest economy at a crossroads due to pandemic

By Maria Angelica Troncoso

The voyage of the Whisper: Sailing with Covid-19 on board

By Ricardo Maldonado Rozo

Daily COVID-19 pandemic roundup: May 21

Miami Desk, May 21 (efe-epa).- Here's a roundup of stories around the world related to the novel coronavirus pandemic:

Covid-19 cases increasing in some US states as they reopen

By Susana Samhan

Trump pulls out of another arms treaty after accusing Russia of breaching it

Washington, May 21 (efe-epa).- President Donald Trump announced Thursday that he is withdrawing the United States from the Open Skies Treaty, a multilateral...

Bolsonaro, governors give initial sign of unity against Covid-19

By Eduardo Davis