March 3, 2020 / 4:45 PM / 3 months ago

Powell says coronavirus outbreak poses material risk to outlook

Federal Reserve Board Chairman Jerome Powell leaves after a Senate Banking Committee hearing on The Semiannual Monetary Policy Report to the Congress on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., February 12, 2020. REUTERS/Yuri Gripas

(Reuters) - Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell on Tuesday said the coronavirus poses a material risk to the economic outlook, and that change to the balance of risks drove the U.S. central bank to deliver its first emergency interest rate cut since the financial crisis.

At a press conference following the Fed’s unscheduled rate cut of half a percentage point, Powell said he expects the move to provide a meaningful boost to the economy.

Reporting By Dan Burns

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