Fed warns of slow recovery without more virus relief


Federal Reserve chair Jerome Powell has warned that America faces a slow and painful economic recovery without additional government relief. The dark forecast from the head of the US central bank is a turnaround from early April, when he said he expected a robust rebound.

It comes as lawmakers debate additional spending to shield the US economy from coronavirus shutdowns. Mr Powell said further measures would be “costly but worth it”. Employers in the US cut more than 20 million jobs last month, sending the unemployment rate to 14.7%, with the many of the losses falling on poor and minority households.

Analysts expect the jobless rate to climb further in May, before starting to subside. Mr Powell said on Wednesday that unemployment levels are likely to to remain elevated – particularly compared to the 50-year lows the US labour market enjoyed as recently as February.(BBC)…[+]