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Fed Chair Jerome Powell said he does not think the U.S. is currently in a recession


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Jerome Powell, chairman of the U.S. Federal Reserve, speaks during a news conference following a Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meeting in Washington, D.C., on Wednesday, July 27, 2022.
Ting Shen | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell said on Wednesday he does not believe the U.S. economy is in a recession as the central bank raised rates further to fight inflation.

“I do not think the U.S. is currently in a recession and the reason is there are too many areas of the economy that are performing too well,” Powell said at a press conference following the Fed’s decision to raise rates by 0.75 percentage point for a second consecutive time. “This is a very strong labor market….it doesn’t make sense that the economy would be in a recession with this kind of thing happening.”

Investors are fearing the Fed’s hiking campaign may tip the economy into a recession. The gross domestic product reading for the second quarter is due on Thursday with economists expecting the economy to have barely expanded following a 1.6% contraction in the first quarter. Many on Wall Street refer to two consecutive negative quarters as a recession, but the official definition takes into account more factors than just GDP.

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