The US central bank is ready to step in to preserve the American economy’s expansion amid mounting risks, Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell said Friday.
And, while the Fed is not expecting a recession, trade frictions are among the risks that policymakers are watching, Powell said during a conversation at the University of Zurich.
The remarks should confirm widespread expectations that the central bank will cut interest rates later this month.
“We see the most likely case for the US and for the world too as continued moderate growth,” Powell said. “We’re going to continue to act as appropriate to sustain this expansion.”
“Trade policy uncertainty will be weighing on business investment decisions,” he said.
The economic landscape has shifted this year, as business investment weakened noticeably, manufacturing has fallen into decline and job creation has slowed.
President Donald Trump on Friday renewed his attacks on Powell, blaming him for failing to stimulate the economy fast enough.
But Powell reiterated that he and his Fed colleagues tune out politics when they set monetary policy.
“Political factors play absolutely no role in our discussions,” he said.