Fed Chair: US economy long away from goals

Powell says economic recovery remains 'uneven' and 'far from complete'.

Fed Chair: US economy long away from goals

Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell said Wednesday that the American economy is a long way from recovering from the coronavirus pandemic after the central bank kept its benchmark interest rate unchanged.

"It is likely to take some time for substantial further progress to be archived," he said at a news conference.

Powell said the Fed's guidance for interest rates and asset purchases are tied to its employment and inflation goals.

He said the stance of the Fed's monetary policy remains highly accommodative as recovery progresses.

Powell assured that the central bank will do everything it can to support the American economy for as long as it takes to complete the recovery.

The Fed's measures will ensure that "monetary policy will continue to deliver a powerful support to the economy until the recovery is complete," he said.

The Fed Chair added that vaccinations and fiscal support by the government also provide support for economic recovery from the pandemic.

Powell noted that indicators of economic activity and employment have strengthened since the beginning of the year. Household spending on goods have risen robustly.

"The housing sector has more than fully recovered from the downturn. Business investment and manufacturing production have also increased," he said, adding spending on services has also picked up.

But sectors most adversely affected by the pandemic have remained weak, according to Powell, who said recovery remains "uneven" and "far from complete."