17 de febrero de 2020
Hispanic World

Fed's Powell warns of economic risks of coronavirus amid Trump's attacks

By Alfonso Fernandez

By Alfonso Fernandez

Washington, Feb 11 (efe-epa).- US Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell on Tuesday acknowledged that the coronavirus outbreak could negatively affect the Chinese and global economies, even as President Donald Trump lambasted the central bank for not dropping US interest rates.

"We are closely monitoring the emergence of the coronavirus, which could lead to disruptions in China that spill over to the rest of the global economy," Powell said in a prepared speech during his semi-annual appearance before Congress.

Along those lines, he said that it is "too early to say" what the effects of the coronavirus will be on the US economy and whether or not they will be "persistent" and/or "material."

Powell said the threat from the coronavirus has appeared just as trade uncertainties have been reduced, although the US economy appears to remain "resilient" and Fed policy is well positioned after a series of rate cuts in 2019.

"As long as incoming information about the economy remains broadly consistent with this outlook, the current stance of monetary policy will likely remain appropriate," Powell said, although he added that such low interest rates on the part of the Fed and other central banks around the world might present a problem.

Meanwhile, Chinese health authorities reported on Tuesday that 1,016 people have died as a result of the coronavirus, which causes serious - and often fatal - pneumonia in a small percentage of those infected.

The first recognized cases of the virus were diagnosed in the central Chinese city of Wuhan, which has 11 million people. So far, 42,638 people in the Asian giant have been diagnosed with the disease.

To date, all of the fatalities except for two - one in The Philippines and one in Hong Kong - have occurred in continental China and, although about 20 countries presently have detected cases of Wuhan pneumonia, 99 percent of those infected have been in China.

To deal with the outbreak, China, the world's second largest economy after the US and a global supply chain center, has implemented severely restrictive measures on internal travel and many factories have halted or slowed their production activities.

At its first meeting of this year, in January, the Fed left US interest rates at the prevailing level between 1.5 percent and 1.75 percent.

Powell warned about the scanty maneuvering room for monetary policy with interest rates as such low levels, saying that "This low interest rate environment may limit the ability of central banks to reduce policy interest rates enough to support the economy during a downturn."

The US budget deficit shot up by 26 percent during Fiscal Year 2019 to almost a trillion dollars - $984 billion, to be more precise - the highest figure in seven years, due to the aggressive cutting of interest rates pushed by Trump and slower than expected economic growth.

In an unusual move, the US president commented in real time about Powell's appearance before House lawmakers, once again criticizing the Fed's monetary policy after on numerous prior occasions urging the US central bank to lower interest rates, thus making money less expensive to borrow and, theoretically, boosting US growth.

"When Jerome Powell started his testimony today, the Dow was up 125, & heading higher. As he spoke it drifted steadily downward, as usual, and is now at -15. Germany & other countries get paid to borrow money. We are more prime, but Fed Rate is too high, Dollar tough on exports," said Trump on Twitter.

Shortly after posting that tweet, however, the stock market began moving up and the Dow Jones returned to positive territory on the day.

The Fed's next monthly meeting is scheduled for March 17-18.

Histórico de noticias
Brazil's Carnival continues with marked feminist accent

Rio de Janeiro, Feb 16 (efe-epa).- Brazil's nationwide Carnival celebration continued on Sunday with a marked feminist accent emphasized by a band that drew...

Dominican municipal elections suspended due to technical problems

Santo Domingo, Feb 16 (EFE).- The Dominican Republic's Central Election Board (JCE) on Sunday suspended the nationwide municipal elections after multiple...

Trump kicks off Daytona 500 in Florida, but rain delays the race

Miami, Feb 16 (efe-epa)- President Donald Trump kicked off the Daytona 500 under initially sunny skies at the Daytona International Speedway in Florida on...

Samsung presents Galaxy Z Flip, first foldable smartphone

San Francisco, Feb 11 (efe-epa).- South Korean multinational Samsung on Tuesday presented its new foldable smartphone, the Galaxy Z Flip, this model with a...

U2's Bono, UN denounce educational disadvantage for girls around world

United Nations, Feb 11 (efe-epa).- Singer Bono and the United Nations on Tuesday denounced the "dramatic disadvantage" in education being suffered by female...

Guaido beaten by mob upon landing in Caracas

Caracas, Feb 11 (efe-epa).- Opposition leader Juan Guaido, recognized as Venezuela's legitimate interim president by more than 50 nations, on Tuesday was...

Fed's Powell warns of economic risks of coronavirus amid Trump's attacks

By Alfonso Fernandez

Final Iowa caucus recount gives Buttigieg delegate win

Washington, Feb 9 (efe-epa).- Almost a week after the Iowa caucuses, the Democratic Party announced Sunday that former South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete...

Hundreds of wizards-for-a-day celebrate "Harry Potter" saga in Argentina

Buenos Aires, Feb 6 (efe-epa).- Hundreds of fans left their "muggle" (non-magical) life to one side on Thursday to attend "Harry Potter Book Night" in...

Weinstein defense calls its first witnesses

New York, Feb 6 (efe-epa).- The defense team of former Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein, who is on trial in New York for rape, on Thursday called its...

Trump holds White House celebration to revel in Senate acquittal

Washington, Feb 6 (efe-epa).- President Donald Trump on Thursday organized a "celebration" at the White House to hail his acquittal in his impeachment trial...

Zona MACO art fair starts in Mexico with new plan to hike attendance

By Ines Amarelo

Trump acquitted in near party line Senate vote on impeachment charges

Washington, Feb 5 (efe-epa).- President Donald Trump was acquitted on Wednesday in a vote by the Republican-controlled Senate on the two impeachment charges...

US threatens Reliance, Repsol, Chevron, Rosneft with sanctions over Venezuela

Washington, Feb 5 (efe-epa).- The United States on Wednesday threatened to impose sanctions on US petroleum firm Chevron, Spain's Repsol and India's...

US trade deficit declines for 1st time in 6 years amid trade tensions

By Alfonso Fernandez

Almost 1,000 police murdered in Mexico in the past 2 years

Mexico City, Feb 4 (efe-epa).- From 2018 up through January 2020, at least 953 police officers were murdered in Mexico, a reflection of the wave of violence...

Puerto Rico's Adriana Diaz among world's top 20 in ping pong

San Juan, Feb 4 (efe-epa).- In a sport where Asians reign supreme, for the first time in her short yet successful table tennis career Puerto Rico's Adriana...

Trump to address split Congress, Senate on verge of acquitting him at trial

By Lucia Leal

Iowa, between Biden's moderation and Bernie's revolution

By Beatriz Pascual Macias

Alphabet beats on earnings per share, misses on revenue

San Francisco, Feb 3 (efe-epa).- Internet giant Alphabet, the parent company of Google, released yearly and quarterly results on Monday, showing net profits...

Newton, Iowa: Between the pain of de-industrialization and the elections

By Beatriz Pascual Macias

Groundhog Day celebrations take place in US

Washington, Feb 2 (efe-epa).- Punxsutawney Phil, the most famous weather-predicting animal in the world, emerged from his burrow in the same-named town in...

Amazon shares skyrocket after earnings beat

By Marc Arcas

Innovative pay methods to be showcased at Super Bowl

Miami, Jan 30 (efe-epa).- Multinational technology giant Visa will have more than 800 contactless payment points in the stadium in Miami Gardens, Florida,...