Fed chairman Jerome Powell says he doesn't expect recession

Oil Drops as Economic Gloom Dents Forecasts for Demand Growth

US Federal Reserve Board Chairman Jerome Powell has waved off fears of a US recession, but signaled a possible interest rate cut to sustain growth in the economy.

Speaking at an economic forum in Zurich, Powell said Fed action this year lowering interest rates has helped support the USA economy. Couple that with an overall slowdown in the global economy and Powell dropped a clue that the central bank's policymaking Federal Open Market Committee could take action when it meets again from September 17-18.

"Trade policy uncertainty will be weighing on business investment decisions", he said.

Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell stressed the importance of independent monetary policy on Friday.

"Absolutely not", said Powell during the discussion.

Powell's remarks echoed those made earlier this week by New York Fed President John Williams, the vice chair of the central bank's monetary policy committee, who likewise said policymakers should be "vigilant" and "act as appropriate" to bolster growth.

Powell is scheduled to speak about the USA economic outlook and interest-rate policy at the University of Zurich at 6:30 p.m. local time, or 12:30 p.m.in NY.

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"There was nothing out of the ordinary that would sway the market one way or the other to think there was something different about how he has been talking about the markets since Jackson Hole", said Justin Lederer, Treasury analyst and trader at Cantor Fitzgerald. Powell said that trade policy is causing "some uncertainty" but that the US consumer is in good shape.

Powell said on Friday at an event in Switzerland that the trade tensions between the United States and China are weighing down companies' investment decisions.

While headline numbers in the August jobs report were below expectations, they showed that the USA economy is being propped up by consumer spending, analysts said.

In a tweet, Trump said: "Where did I find this guy Jerome?" "Political factors have absolutely no role in our process". "Trade policy uncertainty is not something that central banks have a lot of practice in dealing with". We are strongly committed to nonpolitical decision making.

"We serve all Americans regardless of their political party", Powell said.

The Fed cut rates by a quarter of a percentage point in July, and investors expect two more rate cuts this year, including one later this month. The economy added just 130,000 new jobs last month - evidence that hiring has slowed.

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