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The economic recovery in the US this year depends on the spread of the coronavirus,  FOMC Chairman Jerome Powell said during the Q&A session of an online event hosted by the Brookings Institution on Thursday.

Additional takeaways

“When businesses can reopen, the Fed expects a fairly quick rebound in the second half of this year.”

“The Fed can keep providing support to the economy as long as needs arise, no limit to how long it can do it.”

“Inflation is not a first-order concern for us today.”

“The most important thing the Fed can do is support a robust recovery when it does come.”

“More fiscal support is likely to be appropriate.”

“In many cases, people really need direct fiscal support, not Fed loans.”

“The Fed won’t hesitate to move into new areas if support is needed.”

“The Fed’s priority is areas of markets that are most fundamental to supporting the real economy.”

“The Fed will adjust its programs, willing to adapt as needed.”

“Big banks don’t need to stop dividends at this point, they are high capitalized.”

Market reaction

The US Dollar Index largely ignored these comments and was last seen down 0.52% on the day at 99.65.