The U.S. economy is slowing but is not in a recession, Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell said Wednesday, and pointed to the labor market as still showing signs of overheating.
"I don't think the U.S. is currently in a recession," said Powell, speaking the day before official government statistics could show two quarters of negative growth. There are "areas of the economy that are performing too well and of course, I'd point to the labor market. In particular. It's true that growth is slowing for reasons we understand."
The unemployment rate at near a 50-year low, 3.6%, all of the wage measures we track are running very strong, he said. "This is a very strong labor market and it's just not consistent with 2.7 million people hired in the first half of the year. It doesn't make sense that the economy would be in a recession with this kind of thing happening."