US may be in recession, control of virus to dictate timing of economy reopening

US President Donald Trump looks on as Jerome Powell speaks at the White House in Washington, US
US President Donald Trump looks on as Jerome Powell speaks at the White House in Washington, US
Image: REUTERS/Carlos Barria/File Photo

The US "may well be in recession" but progress in controlling the spread of the coronavirus will dictate when the economy can fully reopen, Federal Reserve chair Jerome Powell said Thursday in an interview on NBC's Today Show.

"We are not experts in pandemic... We would tend to listen to the experts. Dr. Fauci said something like the virus is going to set the timetable, and that sounds right to me," Powell said, in reference to Anthony Fauci, head of National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.

"The first order of business will be to get the spread of the virus under control and then resume economic activity."


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