Fed chairman Powell: coronavirus poses 'evolving risks' to U.S. economy

The chairman of the U.S. Federal Reserve, Jerome Powell said that the ongoing coronavirus outbreak poses "evolving risks" to economic activity in the United States.

His statement came amid a worsening sell-off in U.S. markets. In what is perhaps a statement intended to calm a rattled market, Powell said that "the fundamentals of the U.S. economy remain strong." Still, signs indicate that some retail stock and crypto traders are perhaps buying the proverbial dip as The Block's Frank Chaparro reported Friday. 


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"The Federal Reserve is closely monitoring developments and their implications for the economic outlook. We will use our tools and act as appropriate to support the economy," Powell's statement concluded.

The World Health Organization (WHO) said Friday that it had raised its risk assessment of the coronavirus crisis from "high" to "very high," its topmost designation in a four-stage alert system. The move comes as the governments of the world continue to react to the outbreak and scientific teams seek to understand the virus itself.

"This is a reality check for every government on the planet," Dr. Michael Ryan, deputy director of the WHO health emergency program, was quoted as saying by The New York Times. "Wake up. Get ready. This virus may be on its way."