- The Washington Times - Wednesday, April 29, 2020

The Federal Reserve pledged Wednesday to take aggressive action to support an economic recovery, saying the U.S. economy has deteriorated due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The central bank “is committed to using its full range of tools to support the U.S. economy in this challenging time,” Fed officials said in a statement released after their policy meeting.

“The ongoing public health crisis will weigh heavily on economic activity, employment, and inflation in the near term, and poses considerable risks to the economic outlook over the medium term,” the statement said.

The Fed already cut interest rates to near zero in March as the crisis deepened. The government reported Wednesday that the economy contracted in the first quarter at an annualized rate of 4.8%, the first negative move in a quarter since 2014.

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