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Fed's Powell Says the U.S. Economy in ‘Good Place’ But Trade Is a Risk

Bloomberg logoBloomberg 7/12/2018 Christopher Condon and Rich Miller

Jerome Powell: Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell© Bloomberg Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell (Bloomberg) -- Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell gave an upbeat assessment of the U.S. economy but warned a sustained period of high tariffs on a wide variety of imports could be harmful to growth.

“The economy’s in a really good place,” Powell said Thursday in an interview on American Public Media’s “Marketplace” program, noting that unemployment was at its lowest level in 20 years, while acknowledging the risk posed by escalating trade disputes.

Should those disputes result in “high tariffs on a lot of products and a lot of traded goods and services” that “could be be a negative for our economy,” he said.

Powell, who appears before Congress next week, also said that inflation has gradually moved up.

“It’s now just touching 2 percent. So we’re really close to our target. I wouldn’t say we’ve fully achieved it yet. We’re not declaring victory there.”

©2018 Bloomberg L.P.

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