Fed warns of a slowing recovery, leaves rates unchanged

IMF chief Kristalina Georgieva discusses when the global economy will bounce back from the Covid crisis and how vaccine nationalism could cost the world $9 trillion.

Posted: Jan 27, 2021 11:30 AM

The Federal Reserve left interest rates unchanged Wednesday and again stressed it would use its "full range of tools" to support the US economy during the recovery, which has slowed in recent months.

Rising Covid-19 infections are weighing on the economy, which still remains far from its pre-pandemic strength. Renewed shutdowns in various states have again hit sectors, such as leisure and hospitality, most affected by the initial lockdowns last spring.

Meanwhile, the multi-month improvements in the labor market have turned sour: In December, the US economy lost 140,000 jobs.

"The path of the economy will depend significantly on the course of the virus, including progress on vaccinations," the central bank said in a statement.

Fed Chairman Jerome Powell will hold a press conference at 2:30 pm ET.

It is the central bank's first policy update since former Fed chair Janet Yellen was confirmed as Treasury Secretary earlier this week.

Both current Fed Chairman Powell and Yellen have spoken out in favor of additional government spending as key to helping the economy recover. Interest rates are expected to stay at current record lows for the foreseeable future to facilitate this recovery, and the central bank isn't concerned that inflation pressure will get in the way of that.

This is a developing story. It will be updated

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