Powell warns of extended economic pain from pandemic

Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell said Wednesday that “the reversal of economic fortune” brought on by the coronavirus pandemic over the last two months in the United States “has caused a level of pain that is hard to capture in words.”

Powell also said that the Fed is releasing a survey Thursday concluding that, among people who were working in February, nearly 40 percent of those in households making less than $40,000 per year lost a job in March.

“The scope and speed of this downturn are without modern precedent, significantly worse than any recession since World War II,” Powell said.

He also warned that the pandemic would result in an “extended period” of weak growth that could leave lasting economic damage. “It will take some time to get back to where we were,” Powell said.

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