Fed Chair Powell: Economy Is At An Inflection Point

In an interview with CBS, Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell sees signs for optimism in the economy ahead — though only under some conditions.

He said the economy “seems to be at an inflection point,” citing the widespread vaccinations and strong fiscal and monetary support as 2021 continues. He said the economy could “grow much more quickly” from here on out.

That said, he added that the principal risk was that COVID-19 would start to spread again.

He said it was smart for people to continue to socially distance and keep wearing masks for the time being because of that.

Consumer confidence is currently doing well, though, with the combination of falling COVID cases and higher vaccination distribution raising it to levels not seen in months.

The Consumer Confidence Index went from 88.9 in January’s revised level to 91.3 in February, which shows how people feel about current and future economic conditions. And the Present Situation Index, measuring how people feel about the economy right now, increased to 92 up from 85.5.

Lynn Franco, senior director of economic indicators at The Conference Board, said these numbers showed that the economic growth hasn’t slowed any more in recent months, with people now looking more optimistically at vacation options.

J.P. Morgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon said, in his annual letter to shareholders, that the country will likely see a boom post pandemic as things continue to recover from 2020’s economic woes.

He said he had “little doubt” that the economy would boom in equal part due to things like more savings, which includes new stimulus savings, big deficit spending and a general “euphoria” as the pandemic ends.

According to Dimon, the country is poised to see a “Goldilocks moment” in which the growth is swift and keeps going, and with low inflation due to government rescue funds and more vaccines.