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Powell notes the pace of improvement in the labor market has slowed in recent months, citing nonfarms contraction in Dec, w "continued gains outweighed by significant losses" in COVID-hit industries. Despite much progress in labor market since spring, millions remain out of work.
Turning to the inflation side of the dual-mandate: says pandemic has left a significant imprint on inflation, w inflation remaining below 2% objective.
On the outlook for the year: "While we should not underestimate the challenges we face, several developments point to improved outlook for later this year. Sufficiently widespread vaccinations would enable us to put the pandemic behind us and return to more normal economic activities." The economy has proved more resilient than expected, in part reflecting adaptability of households and businesses. Monetary policy supporting.
Goes through forward guidance as stated previously, discusses current policy configuration etc... On "substantial further progress" re asset purchases, says "The economy is a long way from our employment and inflation goals, and it is likely to take sometime for substantial further progress to be achieved."