March 6, 2020 / 6:17 PM / 4 months ago

Fed's Bullard says coronavirus will cause a slowdown but worst case scenario could be averted

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

(Reuters) - The U.S. economy could face a slowdown caused by the coronavirus but it’s still possible the worst outcome could be avoided, St. Louis Federal Reserve President James Bullard said Friday.

The Fed official said a public health response would be the “optimal” way to address the risks stemming from the virus. The spread of the virus could lead to a slowdown but it could be short-lived if the outbreak is contained.

“Markets seem to be pricing in the very worst outcome here and I’m not sure that’s warranted,” Bullard said on a panel at an event organized by the Shadow Open Market Committee in New York.

Reporting by Jonnelle Marte, Editing by Franklin Paul

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