WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - The US economy has weathered the coronavirus pandemic better than most centers of the world despite record infections and deaths, but a resurgence of COVID-19 cases among Americans is particularly concerning, Federal Reserve Chairman Jay Powell said Thursday.
“We've gotten through the first five, six months of the (virus’) expansion better than expected, but we do see … another spike in cases as the cold weather arrives and people are inside more,” Powell told a news conference after the Fed’s monthly policy meeting. “So I think we have to be humble about where we are relative to this disease. It hasn't gone away. The recent rise in COVID cases is particularly concerning.”
The US economy rebounded by 33.1 percent in the third quarter, after shrinking 31.4 percent in the previous three months and 5 percent in the first quarter.
Despite the rebound, the economic outlook for the United States remains dire with a rash of new coronavirus infections reported across a nation with 9.5 million COVID-19 cases and over 234,000 fatalities to date. New lockdowns imposed by Germany and France are also likely to dampen the global trade, putting further strain on the US economy.
Powell said the therapeutics developed for COVID-19 were advancing and research on vaccines were progressing, while death rates and hospitalization rates were declining lower. “So, we're learning. But we're very far from saying that we think we've got this and eliminated the tail risks.”
Oh the economic front, the Federal Reserve chairman said business investment had picked up since the earlier days of the outbreak in March while the housing sector appears to have fully recovered.
“Yet the pace of improvement in the job market has moderated, and the outlook for the economy is extraordinarily uncertain,” he said. The Fed, in its monthly policy statement, said the path of the economy “will depend significantly on the course of the virus.”
The United States lost more than 21 million jobs between March and April, at the height of lockdowns forced by the COVID-19. A rebound of 2.5 million jobs was logged in May and 4.8 million in June, before the recovery began slowing. For all of September, there were just 661,000 jobs added. October jobs data would be revealed Friday.