Fed’s Powell says economy is in ‘good place’ but tariffs could change that

Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell said the economy is “in a good place,” but that an escalation in tariffs between the United States and trading partners could affect that success.

“I think, frankly the United States economy is in a good place from a cyclical standpoint close to our maximum employment and stable prices target,” Powell told Marketplace in an interview published Thursday.

The U.S. economy added 213,000 jobs during the month of June, according to the government’s latest employment report that published Friday. While the strong payroll numbers beat expectations and hinted at continued tightness in the labor market, wage gains across the country remain comparatively sluggish.

The Fed Chairman’s comments also came as the U.S. seeks to ramp up pressure on China to address a prolonged trade deficit and intellectual property abuses, a phenomenon some have worried could hamper domestic or global economic growth.

The Trump administration on Tuesday released a list of 10 percent tariffs on $200 billion in Chinese goods, making good on the president’s recent threats to escalate a broadening trade war with Beijing.

“The administration says that what it’s trying to achieve is lower tariffs. So if it works out that way, then that’ll be a good thing for our economy,” he added. “If it works out other ways, so that we wind up having high tariffs on a lot of products and a lot of traded goods and services, let’s say, and that they become sustained for a long period of time, then yes, that could be be a negative for our economy.”

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