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Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell said Wednesday that rising case numbers from the Delta variant may impact the economy less than in previous waves of coronavirus, but could hinder labor force participation rates.

"What we've seen is with successive waves of Covid over the past year and some months now, there has tended to be less in the way of economic implications from each wave," said Powell. "We'll see whether that is the case with the Delta variety, but it's certainly not an unreasonable expectation."

The Fed chair also suggested that the Delta surge could hinder labor force participation. "It certainly is plausible that people would pull back from some activities because of the risk of infection - dining out, traveling, some schools might not reopen. We may see economic effects from some of that or it might weigh on the return to the labor market" he said.