FED SAYS BEATING COVID-19 IS KEY BUT WOULDN’T KNOW IF EVERYTHING’S OK

With a full three months of responding to a global pandemic under their belt, US Federal Reserve officials have united around one point: Lasting progress on the economic front will be dictated by success in containing the spread of the coronavirus.


But agreement beyond that may be elusive as Fed policymakers meet this week to balance fresh signs the US may be over the worst of the economic fallout from the pandemic against evidence the virus is not yet under control, Howard Schneider wrote for Reuters on June 8, 2020.

Where they end up could shape decisions about whether to expand or create new emergency programs in anticipation of a more extended economic crisis, or about how to best support companies and households if in fact the pandemic is easing.

The US central bank has ongoing debates on each front, both about the long-run commitments it might make to anchor interest rates at a low level for the recovery, and the continued hunt, as Fed Chair Jerome Powell put it last week, for companies with substantial numbers of employees that have not been covered in any of the crisis programs launched so far.

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