Fed projects slow economic recovery, 9% unemployment rate by year's end

The Federal Reserve is predicting a slow economic recovery from the recession spurred by the COVID-19 pandemic, The New York Times reported.

Fed chairman Jerome H. Powell suggested during a June 10 news conference that millions of people could remain without work for an extended period and estimated unemployment will be about 9 percent by year's end and drop to 5.5 percent by  2022, according to the newspaper.

May brought signs of economic recovery, with the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reporting that the unemployment rate declined to 13.3 percent, compared to 14.7 percent in April.

Still, "The extent of the downturn and the pace of recovery remain extraordinarily uncertain and will depend in large part on our success in containing the virus," said Mr. Powell.

A full economic recovery is unlikely to happen "until people are confident to reengage in a broad range of activities," Mr. Powell said.

The severity of the downturn also will depend on actions taken at various levels of government to provide relief and support the recovery after the public health crisis ends, he said.

The Fed will do "whatever we can, and for as long as it takes," to support the recovery, Mr. Powell said, including leaving interest rates near zero and not increasing borrowing costs through at least 2022.

Read the full New York Times report here.

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