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Fed's Powell says economy is a long way from maximum employment

·1 min read
Yellen and Powell testify on the CARES Act at the Hart Senate Office Building in Washington

(Reuters) - Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell said on Tuesday the U.S. economy is still far from achieving maximum employment, a key component of the central bank's requirements for raising interest rates.

"What I said last week was that we had all but met the test for tapering," said Powell, testifying before the U.S. Senate Banking Committee. "I made it clear that we are, in my view, a long way from meeting the test for maximum employment."

Fed officials said they would keep buying $120 billion a month in bonds until there is "substantial further progress" toward the Fed's maximum employment and inflation goals, but they have set a higher bar for raising interest rates.

(Reporting by Jonnelle Marte; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)