Fed Chairman Jerome Powell speaks during a House Committee hearing on September 23, 2020 in Washington, DC. Powell will return to the House of Representatives Tuesday with Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen to discuss relief efforts and the state of the economy. Pool / Getty Images Hide caption
Pool / Getty Images
Pool / Getty Images
The economy is experiencing a strong, but still incomplete, recovery, US Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell told Congress on Tuesday, exactly a year after stock markets hit their lowest point during the pandemic.
The economy is now “much improved,” according to Powell prepared remarksThanks to “quick and forceful action” by Congress and the central bank to avoid an even more crippling downturn.
But Powell will also say, “The recovery is far from over.” Total employment is still well below pre-pandemic levels. And millions of people have left the workforce altogether.
Powell appears on Tuesday with Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen before a House committee. You will then appear before a Senate panel on Wednesday.
Her testimony on Tuesday comes a year after stock indices bottomed out after weeks of turmoil over fears of a new virus then spreading around the world
Since then, the stock market has returned. Both the Dow Jones Industrial Average and the S&P 500 index are up 80% from their lows in March last year. The Nasdaq Composite Index has more than doubled.
Congress and the Fed pumped trillions of dollars into the economy last year, including the $ 1.9 trillion aid package this month that is a lifeline to families and businesses alike.
Powell said the central bank will “continue to give the economy the support it needs while it lasts”.
After nearly stalling over the winter, attitudes increased over the past month. A new round of $ 1,400 in aid is expected to boost consumer purchasing power as an improving public health situation holds out the promise of more travel and entertainment options later this year.
“The recovery has advanced faster than generally expected and appears to be strengthening,” Powell said in the prepared remarks.
Fed officials have increased their forecast for economic growth this year to 6.5%, which would be the fastest pace in nearly four decades.