February 25, 2020 / 7:28 PM / a month ago

UPDATE 1-White House economic adviser says U.S. economy can ride out coronavirus

(Recasts ability to ride out any disruption, adds quotes, bylines)

By David Lawder and Makini Brice

WASHINGTON, Feb 25 (Reuters) - The U.S. economy will be able to ride out any disruption from the global spread of coronavirus, a top White House adviser said on Tuesday, adding that he is not anticipating the Federal Reserve to cut interest rates to blunt the virus’ economic impact.

National Economic Council Director Larry Kudlow said in an interview on CNBC that the virus has so far been tightly contained in the United States despite calls by federal public health officials for businesses and others to prepare for possible major disruption.

“This is very tightly contained in the U.S.,” Kudlow told CNBC, adding any such emergency planning does not mean a wider outbreak of the virus will come to pass in the United States.

“I’m not hearing the Fed’s going to make any panic move,” he said, referring to growing market expectations that the virus will push the U.S. central bank to cut rates.

U.S. health officials at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Tuesday raised the alarm about the likely spread of coronavirus and urged Americans to get prepared now, following swift-moving outbreaks in China, South Korea, Japan, Iran and Italy.

President Donald Trump, meanwhile, has sought to downplay any potential U.S. outbreak or the impact to the nation’s economy.

Kudlow on Tuesday praised U.S. health officials for “preparing for any eventualities” but also urged Americans and financial investors not to overreact. (Reporting by Makini Brice and David Lawder; Writing by Susan Heavey; Editing by Chris Reese and Richard Chang)

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