UPDATED 7:03 AM PT – Friday, November 13, 2020
The chairman of the Federal Reserve is urging Congress to pass another stimulus package as the country continues to grapple with the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.
In a conference with the European Central Bank on Thursday, Jerome Powell said even as the economy starts to recover, he’s worried about certain long-term effects the pandemic may have.
Powell noted the economy will likely be more technology focused than ever before. He specified that could leave retail, factory and hospitality workers who lost their jobs out of work for longer than they otherwise would be.
Powell said even though the coming of a vaccine in the near future is welcome news, uncertainty remains over the economic effects of the pandemic between now and when the vaccine can be widely distributed to the public.
“We do see that the economy continuing on a solid path of recovery, but the main risk we see of that, to that, is clearly the further spread of disease here in the United States,” he stated. “We’ve got new cases at a record level, we’ve seen a number of states begin to reimpose limited activity restrictions and people may lose confidence that it’s safe to go out.”
Powell went on to call on Congress to do more as coronavirus stimulus negotiations remain at a stalemate.
“My sense is that we will need to do more and that Congress may need to do more as well in fiscal policy,” he stated. “The actual particulars of that are are up to Congress and not up to us, but I do think it’s likely that more will need to be done in time.”
Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle hope to strike a deal by the end of the year and avoid a potential government shutdown on December 11.