A full U.S. economic recovery might require a coronavirus vaccine and could take more than a year, Federal Reserve chairman Jerome Powell said on Sunday.
“In the long run and even in the medium run, you wouldn’t want to bet against the American economy.
“This economy will recover,” Powell said in an excerpt of an interview to be aired in full on CBS later on Sunday.
“It may take a while … It could stretch through the end of next year. We really don’t know,” he added.
The central bank chief said the recovery would likely depend on how people feel about their safety.
“Assuming there is not a second wave of the coronavirus, I think you’ll see the economy recover steadily through the second half of this year.
“For the economy to fully recover people will have to be fully confident and that may have to await the arrival of a vaccine,” Powell said.
The Fed cut its interest rates to near-zero as the pandemic spread and has launched a series of programmes to help businesses and markets continue functioning.
More than 36 million U.S. residents have filed for unemployment benefits since mid-March, when the outbreak caused large segments of the economy to stall.
“This is a time of great suffering and difficulty and it’s come on so quickly and with such force that you really can’t put into words the pain people are feeling and the uncertainty they are realising,” Powell said.
– May 18, 2020 @ 07:50 GMT /