Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell has warned that the United States is on an “unsustainable fiscal path,” with debt growth outpacing the overall economy.
In a Jan. 4 interview with 60 Minutes, Powell said that it is now “past time” for elected officials in the United States to begin an “adult discussion” about reducing the economy’s debt.
“In the long run, the United States’ fiscal path is unsustainable. The US federal government is currently on an unsustainable fiscal path. And that simply means that the debt is growing faster than the economy,” Powell stated.
The price of Bitcoin (BTC) fell late last week when the Fed left interest rates at 5.25%-5.50% and ruled out any rate cuts in March, stating that it would need “greater confidence” that inflationary pressures had been addressed before doing so.
Powell reiterated this in the interview, saying that the Fed would not consider lowering interest rates until it had seen “good” evidence of economic strength.
Powell stated that “nearly all” Federal Reserve board members believe that cuts will occur at some point this year and that “it’s unlikely that this committee will reach that level of confidence in time for the March meeting, which is in seven weeks.”
“Before we take that crucial step of starting to cut interest rates, we simply want more confidence.”
For high-risk assets like cryptocurrency and growth-oriented tech companies like Apple, Nvidia, and other major tech stocks, rate cuts are regarded as bullish.
When the Federal Reserve lowers interest rates, borrowing capital becomes less expensive, which typically boosts overall spending activity and risk appetite in the economy.
Powell said he expected inflation to fall further in the first half of the year and that the central bank would review its strategy at the next Federal Open Market Committee meeting in March.
“We would want to move sooner if we saw signs of weakness in the labor market or if we saw a really convincing decline in inflation,” he added.