In the heart of United States finances, a wake-up call resonates through the words of Jerome Powell, the chairman of the US Federal Reserve (Fed), about the country’s current fiscal trajectory. In a revealing conversation on “60 Minutes” with Scott Pelley, Powell expressed deep concerns about the escalating national debt and its implications for the American economy.

The scenario described by Powell is one of caution and urgency. He highlighted that the nation is following a path of debt accumulation that outpaces economic growth, a practice that is unsustainable in the long term.

“In the long term, the US is on an unsustainable fiscal trajectory. The US federal government is on an unsustainable fiscal path and that just means the debt is growing faster than the economy… In the long run, of course, that worries me. Effectively, we are borrowing from future generations. It’s time to prioritize fiscal sustainability again and sooner is better than later,” warned Powell.

This warning comes at a time when the US national debt has reached an all-time high, exceeding $34 trillion, which represents approximately 123% of the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Such magnitude of debt puts into question future economic stability and the ability to maintain the nation’s financial well-being.

Despite these challenges, Powell maintains an optimistic view on the immediate state of the US economy. He noted that with inflation heading towards the Fed’s 2% target, the country is in a robust position to foster economic growth.

“We have a strong economy. Growth continues at a solid pace. The job market is strong, with unemployment at 3.7%,” said Powell, highlighting the strength of the current economic scenario. This present strength, according to him, provides a basis for the Fed to carefully consider the appropriate time to reduce interest rates, awaiting more data to confirm the sustainable path of inflation towards the established objective.

This balance between long-term concerns and short-term optimism reflects the complexity of the fiscal challenge facing the United States. Powell’s message is clear: it is crucial to act now to ensure fiscal and economic sustainability for future generations, even as the economy shows signs of strength in the present.


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