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Federal Reserve chair: US economy at 'inflection point'

Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell said in an interview scheduled to air Sunday evening that the U.S. economy is at an “inflection point" due to widespread COVID-19 vaccinations and "strong monetary policy support."

“We feel like we’re at a place where the economy is about to start growing much more quickly and job creation coming in much more quickly, so the principal risk to our economy right now really is that the disease would spread again,” Powell told CBS's "60 Minutes." 

“It’s going to be smart if people can continue to socially distance and wear masks,” he added.

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Reuters notes that recent economic data support Powell’s remarks, with 916,000 jobs created in March, better than expected and a possible indicator of 1 million jobs being created in a month later this year.

Despite the increase seen in March, there are still 8.4 million fewer jobs than in February of 2020, Reuters added. And the economic recovery has been uneven, with unemployment rates for Black and Hispanic Americans and people without high school diplomas higher than the national average. Among white Americans and people with college degrees, the unemployment rate is below the national average.

Powell cautioned during meetings with the International Monetary Fund last week that the U.S. would be reopening to a "different economy." He stated that a  “brighter outlook for the U.S. economy” is on the horizon, but added many people would still be out of work.

Despite these setbacks, Powell said he believes the U.S. is “on track to allow a full reopening of the economy fairly soon.”