Bullard: Expects fresh fiscal package this month to extend pandemic support

FILE PHOTO: St. Louis Federal Reserve Bank President James Bullard speaks at a public lecture in Singapore October 8, 2018. REUTERS/Edgar Su

(Reuters) - St. Louis Federal Reserve president James Bullard said on Tuesday he expects the U.S. Congress to approve new economic programs by the end of the month to keep businesses and households afloat and avoid an approaching “fiscal cliff.”

The expiry this month of extended unemployment benefits and other programs raised the risk that spending power could be drained from the U.S. economy even as coronavirus cases surge and millions or workers wait to be called back to the job.

But “there will be a bill and it will be substantial,” Bullard predicted.

Reporting by Howard Schneider; Editing by Sandra Maler