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US Federal Chief: Economy could take slight hit from omicron variant

Posted at 11:48 AM, Nov 30, 2021
and last updated 2021-11-30 14:48:37-05

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - On Capitol Hill, Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell and Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen addressed the threat of the emergence of the variant Omicron poses to the US economy.

"The recent rise in COVID-19 cases and the emergence of the latest variant pose downsized risks to the employment and economic activity and increased uncertainty of inflation," Powell said.

Last week the World Health Organization labeled it as a variant of concern. That same day Wall Street spun out, selling off stocks and oil. However, it did regain much of its lost ground on Monday.

During the hearing, Powell warned if this variant prolongs the pandemic, there will be a noticeable impact that keeps prices rising. It could also hurt job growth, and it may even make the supply chain crisis worse.

Meanwhile, scientists and health experts are trying to learn more about this variant to try and stay ahead of it. Yellen said vaccines will still be key in this battle to stabilize the economy during this pandemic.

"We're still waiting on more data but what remains true is that our best protection against the virus is the vaccine," she said. "People should get vaccinated and boosted."