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焦点:美联储将利率维持在接近零的水平,警告COVID-19疫情可能卷土重来

2020-7-30 11:00

 

这张照片拍摄于2020年7月29日,展示的是美国华盛顿特区的美联储大楼。周三,美国联邦储备委员会(Federal Reserve)将基准利率维持在接近零的历史低位不变,原因是近期全国新冠肺炎病例再度出现。(新华社/刘杰)


新华社华盛顿7月29日电美国联邦储备委员会29日宣布,基准利率维持在接近零的历史低位不变,同时警告称,近期全国新增新冠肺炎病例开始对经济复苏构成压力。


“经济的发展道路将在很大程度上取决于病毒的传播过程。持续的公共卫生危机将在短期内严重影响经济活动、就业和通胀,并对中期内的经济前景构成相当大的风险,”美联储在结束为期两天的政策会议后发表声明称。


根据声明,美联储预计将维持联邦基金利率在0- 0.25%的目标区间,“直到它确信经济已经渡过了最近的难关,并走上实现最大就业和价格稳定目标的轨道”。


美联储在3月的两次非正式会议上将利率降至接近零,并开始购买大量美国公债和机构抵押贷款支持证券,以修复金融市场。它还公布了新的贷款计划,提供高达2.3万亿美元以支持经济,以应对冠状病毒的爆发。


自美联储6月初上次会议以来的一个显著变化是,美国许多州的冠状病毒感染率上升,至少有22个州暂停或部分逆转了它们重新开放经济的努力。


“事实上我们已经看到一些迹象在最近几周在新的措施来控制它正开始成为经济活动,”美联储主席杰罗姆·鲍威尔说周三下午在一个虚拟的新闻发布会上,添加一些措施基于借记卡和信用卡的消费使用自6月下旬以来,下降了。


鲍威尔说:“经济前进的道路非常不确定,这将取决于我们能否成功地控制住病毒。”他指出,在人们确信能够安全地重新从事广泛的活动之前,美国经济不太可能全面复苏。


伯南克表示,"尽管5月和6月的经济消息有所改善,但整体经济活动仍远低于疫情爆发前的水平,第二季实际国内生产总值(GDP)可能录得有史以来最大降幅。"


官方数据显示,美国今年第一季实际GDP环比年率萎缩5%,商务部定于周四公布第二季GDP初值。


“没有一个宽松的大流行,或疫苗在短期内的发展,有一个真正的风险,国内的经济复苏将继续停滞,为另一个衰退,创造条件”Brusuelas analytics首席经济学家会计和咨询公司RSM我们LLP周三写道在一个分析。


“然而,美联储(fed)选择了按火不动,在7月份的会议上没有提供进一步的适应性措施,尽管随着疫情在6、7月份加剧,企业并没有召回大量员工,家庭消费也有所放缓,”他辩称。


Brusuelas预计,美联储将在9月会议上宣布政策机制向"平均通胀目标"转变。过去一周,在对美联储政策进行18个月评估后,这已给较长期利率带来下行压力。


大型会计公司均富(Grant Thornton)的首席经济学家斯旺克(Diane Swonk)也预计,美联储将在9月份采取某种形式的与通胀挂钩的前瞻性指引。


“美联储决定在9月份之前暂缓发布与通胀过度有关的‘前瞻性指引’。美联储也在积极考虑控制收益率曲线," Swonk在推特上表示,并补充称,美联储的目标是尽快将失业率降至极低水平。


与此同时,数百万美国人所依赖的扩大后的联邦失业救济金将于本月底到期,共和党和民主党议员还没有解决他们对下一个新冠肺炎救助法案的规模和范围的分歧。


"在我看来,这表明双方在各种条款上争执不休,但仍认为有必要提供一些额外的财政支持,"鲍威尔对记者说。


他说,许多在疫情期间失业的美国人需要援助,"如果他们要有能力支付账单,继续花钱住在他们目前租赁的房子或公寓里,或者是他们自己拥有的房子"。

 


穆迪分析公司(Moody's Analytics)首席经济学家马克·赞迪(Mark Zandi)最近警告说,除非国会和特朗普政府在国会8月份休会前拿出另一个财政救助方案,否则美国经济面临着滑向二次探底衰退的严重风险。


美国约翰霍普金斯大学(Johns Hopkins University)的数据显示,截至周三下午,美国新冠肺炎确诊病例超过439万,死亡人数超过15万。

 

Photo taken on July 29, 2020 shows the U.S. Federal Reserve building in Washington, D.C., the United States. The U.S. Federal Reserve on Wednesday kept its benchmark interest rate unchanged at the record-low level of near zero amid a recent resurgence in COVID-19 cases nationwide. (Xinhua/Liu Jie)

WASHINGTON, July 29 (Xinhua) -- The U.S. Federal Reserve on Wednesday kept its benchmark interest rate unchanged at the record-low level of near zero while warning that a recent resurgence in COVID-19 cases nationwide is starting to weigh on economic recovery.

"The path of the economy will depend significantly on the course of the virus. The ongoing public health crisis will weigh heavily on economic activity, employment, and inflation in the near term, and poses considerable risks to the economic outlook over the medium term," the Fed said in a statement after concluding a two-day policy meeting.

The central bank expects to maintain the target range for the federal funds rate at 0-0.25 percent "until it is confident that the economy has weathered recent events and is on track to achieve its maximum employment and price stability goals", according to the statement.

The Fed cut interest rates to near zero at two unscheduled meetings in March and began purchasing massive quantities of U.S. treasuries and agency mortgage-backed securities to repair financial markets. It also unveiled new lending programs to provide up to 2.3 trillion U.S. dollars to support the economy in response to the coronavirus outbreak.

A notable change since the Fed's last meeting in early June is that coronavirus infection rates have accelerated in many U.S. states and at least 22 states have either paused or partially reversed their efforts to reopen their economies.

"Indeed we have seen some signs in recent weeks in the renewed measures to control it are starting to weigh on economic activity," Fed Chairman Jerome Powell said Wednesday afternoon at a virtual press conference, adding some measures of consumer spending based on debit and credit card use have dropped since late June.

"The path forward for the economy is extraordinarily uncertain and will depend on our success in keeping the virus in check," Powell said, noting a full U.S. economic recovery is unlikely until people are confident that it's safe to reengage in a broad range of activities.

"Even with the improved economic news in May and June, overall activity remains well below its level before the pandemic and the contraction in real GDP (gross domestic product) in the second quarter will likely be the largest on record," said the Fed chief.

Official statistics showed that the U.S. real GDP contracted at an annual rate of 5 percent in the first quarter this year, and the Commerce Department is scheduled to report its first estimate of the second quarter GDP on Thursday.

"Absent an easing of the pandemic, or the development of a vaccine in the near term, there is a real risk that the domestic economic rebound will continue to stall, creating the conditions for another downturn," Joseph Brusuelas, chief economist at accounting and consulting firm RSM US LLP, wrote Wednesday in an analysis.

"Yet the Federal Reserve chose to hold its fire and provided no further accommodation at its July meeting even though companies have not been recalling as many workers and household consumption has slowed as the pandemic intensified in June and July," he argued.

Brusuelas expected the Fed to announce a shift in the policy regime toward "an average inflation targeting" in its September meeting, which has put downward pressure on longer-term interest rates over the past week in anticipation of such a move following the 18-month review of central bank policy.

Diane Swonk, chief economist at Grant Thornton, a major accounting firm, also expected the Fed to adopt some form of forward guidance tied to inflation in September.

"The Fed decided to hold back on its issuance of 'forward guidance' tied to an overshoot on inflation until September. The Fed is also actively considering yield curve controls," Swonk tweeted, adding the Fed's goal is to get unemployment rate down to extremely low levels as soon as possible.

The Fed meeting also came as the enhanced federal unemployment benefits that millions of Americans rely upon are set to expire at the end of this month, and Republican and Democratic lawmakers haven't settled their differences over the size and scope of the next COVID-19 relief bill.

"It suggests to me that both sides, they're wrangling over various provisions, but nonetheless believe there is a need for some additional fiscal support," Powell told reporters.

Many of the American people that were laid off during the pandemic are going to need support "if they're going to be able to pay their bills to continue spending money to remain in their current rental house or apartment or house if they own it," he added.

Mark Zandi, chief economist of Moody's Analytics, recently warned that the U.S. economy is at serious risk of sliding back into a double-dip recession unless Congress and the Trump administration come up with another fiscal rescue package before Congress goes on its August recess.

Confirmed COVID-19 cases in the United States topped 4.39 million as of Wednesday afternoon with deaths over 150,000, according to a tally by Johns Hopkins University.

 

来自: xinhua