18 de julio de 2019
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
US House votes to hold AG Barr, Commerce Sect. Ross in contempt

Washington, Jul 17 (efe-epa).- The House of Representatives on Wednesday voted to hold Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross and US Attorney General William Barr...

Bolivia's Torrez hopes she'll win Pan Am swimming medal in Lima

By Yolanda Salazar

Serra Pelada: 40 years of gold fever that devastated the Amazon jungle

By Alba Santandreu

Brazil promises to keep alive Mercosur's push that garnered EU pact

By Natalia Kidd

5 Killed in drug rehab center in western Mexico

Mexico City, Jul 17 (efe-epa).- Five men were shot and killed at a drug rehabilitation center in Morelia, capital of the western Mexican state of Michoacan,...

Guatemalan migrants return from US with complaints re treatment in shelters

By Emiliano Castro Saenz

Ecuadorian women scientists slam gender gap in their profession

By Christian A. Sanchez

Trump refuses to criticize Turkey after Ankara buys Russian missiles

Washington, Jul 16 (EFE).- President Donald Trump on Tuesday refused to criticize the Turkish government of Recep Tayyip Erdogan after the Pentagon blocked...

Los Angeles, Jul 16 (epa-efe).- "Game of Thrones" on Tuesday racked up a record 32 Emmy Award nominations, thus becoming the series that has received the...

Mexican nature preserve could take 200 years to recover from fire damage

By Lourdes Cruz

Paraguay taxi drivers again at war with Uber

Asuncion, Jul 16 (efe-epa).- Hundreds of taxi drivers suspended their service this Tuesday to again drive through the streets of Asuncion with a long...

Dried-up Aculeo Lagoon shows the woes of climate change in Chile

By Alberto Peña

Trump doubles down on tweets against Democratic congresswomen

By Lucia Leal.

Princess Mako thanks Bolivia for 120 years welcoming Japanese migrants

La Paz, Jul 15 (efe-epa).- Princess Mako of Japan thanked Bolivia this Monday for the welcome it has extended over the past 120 years to Japanese migrants...

Mexico rules out being safe third country for migrants despite Trump's order

Mexico City, Jul 15 (efe-epa).- Mexican Foreign Secretary Marcelo Ebrard on Monday ruled out that his country would become a "safe third country" for...

Salvadoran woman charged with abortion says she is innocent

Ciudad Delgado, El Salvador, Jul 15 (efe-epa).- Twenty-one-year-old Salvadoran Evelyn Hernandez said Monday that she is innocent of aggravated murder for...

Billionaire Buffett's real estate unit joins forces with Spain's LARVIA

New York, Jul 15 (efe-epa).- Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices, the real estate unit of billionaire Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway Inc. conglomerate,...

Residents of historic Panama neighborhood fight gentrification

By Maria M.Mur.

Pressure mounts for Puerto Rico governor's resignation amid scandal

San Juan, Jul 15 (efe-epa).- Pressure is mounting in Puerto Rico for Gov. Ricardo Rossello to resign after the revelation of the contents of private online...

Trump says tariffs taking a toll on China's economy

Washington, Jul 15 (efe-epa).- President Donald Trump said Monday that the tariffs imposed by his administration were taking a toll on China's economy,...

Barry weakens over Louisiana, but flooding alert remains in place

Washington, Jul 14 (efe-epa).- Tropical Storm Barry weakened to a tropical depression as it crossed the state of Louisiana on Sunday, heading...

San Juan Parangaricutiro, Mexico's Pompeii buried by Paricutin volcano

By Manuel Soberanes Cobo

Khya, a baby kangaroo being raised by humans in western Mexican city

By Mariana Gonzalez

Getting Florida coral to reproduce in captivity is big challenge

By Ivonne Malaver