Fed's Powell says trade tensions weigh on U.S. economy

2019-07-11 01:56:39 GMT2019-07-11 09:56:39(Beijing Time) Xinhua English

WASHINGTON, July 10 (Xinhua) -- U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell said Wednesday that crosscurrents such as trade tensions and concerns about global growth have been weighing on the U.S. economic activity and outlook.

In his prepared remarks to lawmakers at the House Committee on Financial Services, where he is scheduled to testify on the Semiannual Monetary Policy Report, Powell also said many participants of the Fed's Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) "saw that the case for a somewhat more accommodative monetary policy had strengthened."

Powell said growth in business investment has slowed "notably," and "overall growth in the second quarter appears to have moderated."

Noting that inflation has been below the FOMC's symmetric 2 percent objective, Powell said "there is a risk that weak inflation will be even more persistent than we currently anticipate," hinting at the possibility of a rate cut.

Powell reiterated a statement he made after the FOMC meeting in June that the Fed will act as appropriate to sustain the current economic expansion.

"Since then, based on incoming data and other developments, it appears that uncertainties around trade tensions and concerns about the strength of the global economy continue to weigh on the U.S. economic outlook. Inflation pressures remain muted," he added.