Facebook currency project 'cannot go forward' until concerns addressed: Powell

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And Powell said that in the weeks since the June policy meeting "it appears that uncertainties around trade tensions and concerns about the strength of the global economy continue to weigh on the U.S. economic outlook". In addition, annual inflation has dipped further below the Fed's annual target level. However, he is likely to keep silent on how deep the rate cut might be.

President Trump has repeatedly argued that the USA economy would be growing faster if the Fed lowered interest rates.

Trump, who is counting on a strong economy for his re-election campaign, has called the Fed his biggest threat. And he must do this all without admitting that the Fed misread the economy when it hiked rates a year ago.

Powell made no mention of the president's criticism in his prepared testimony, but he did thank Congress for the "independence" it has given the central bank to operate.

Powell will tell the House Financial Services Committee that the Fed will "act as appropriate to sustain the expansion" in the face of economic "crosscurrents" that have "re-emerged, creating greater uncertainty". Economists expect the reduction will likely be a quarter-point.

"I can't hear you", said Waters in response to which the hearing room erupted in laughter by Powell and members on both sides of the aisle. Slower global growth is also dragging on exports, they noted. The Fed has raised rates nine times since 2015, four increases coming under Powell's leadership. He contends that the central bank made a huge mistake by tightening credit a year ago and should be cutting rates now.

Powell said the Fed has established a working group to follow the project and is coordinating with other central banks across the globe.

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Tournament organisers must now hope that most of the spectators who turned up for the first day will return. They hit flawless line and length and forced us to make errors".

That added a full additional rate cut to the one investors already had expected, and added market pressure to the Fed's growing list of concerns.

That change reflects two developments. -China trade war and agreed to resume talks toward a deal that would meet the administration's demands to better protect US technology.

This was despite last week's strong USA jobs figures and an easing of trade tensions with China.

The Fed has kept its current benchmark overnight interest rate in a range of between 2.25% and 2.50% since December.

Powell contrasted the Fed's "baseline outlook" of continued US growth against a set of significant risks: persistently weak inflation, slower growth in other major economies, and a downturn in business investment driven by uncertainty over the duration and intensity of trade wars waged by the administration of US President Donald Trump - especially Trump's year-long trade war with China.

The president did not rule out the possibility last month of either demoting or firing the chairman of the Fed.