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A screenshot of Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell on "60 Minutes." Photo: CBS

Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell told CBS' "60 Minutes" in an interview broadcast Sunday that the U.S. economy is at an "inflection point," with growth and job creation forecasts looking strong.

Of note: In his interview with CBS' Scott Pelley, Powell said it's "highly unlikely" the Fed would raise interest rates this year.

A tweet previously embedded here has been deleted or was tweeted from an account that has been suspended or deleted.

Driving the news: "What we're seeing now is really an economy that seems to be much at an inflection point, and that's because of widespread vaccination and strong fiscal support, strong monetary policy support," Powell said in the interview.

  • "We feel like we're at a place where the economy's about to start growing much more quickly and job creation coming in much more quickly."

Yes, but: Powell's forecast is based on there not being another wave of COVID-19.

  • "I would identify the principal risk to our economy right now really is that the disease would spread again more quickly," Powell said.
  • "We do see cases. They're at a much lower level. But we see them moving up now. And that's troubling. It's going to be smart if people can continue to socially distance and wear masks."

Threat level: Powell told Pelley the risk that the Fed was watching out for the most now was the threat of a cyber breach. Officials were bracing for a range of scenarios — from payment utility breakdowns concerning individuals and large financial institutions to the financial system being brought to a halt. 

  • "There are cyber attacks every day on all major institutions now," Powell noted.
  • "And the government is working hard on that. So are all the private sector companies. There's a lot of effort going in to deal with those threats. That's a big part of the threat picture in today's world."

For the record: President Biden took office a month after it was revealed that suspected Russian hackers launched a massive cyberattack on multiple government agencies and U.S. companies. 

  • The Biden administration is working on an executive order to bolster federal cybersecurity following the hacking of SolarWinds and the Microsoft Exchange Server — which was targeted by a cyber espionage unit backed by the Chinese government, it emerged earlier this month.
  • Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas outlined earlier this month a plan to counter online attacks and said the Biden administration is committed to a newly created Senate-confirmed national cyber director role for success, but the position has yet to be filled.

Go deeper

Updated 5 hours ago - World

Biden in call with Netanyahu raises concerns about civilian casualties in Gaza

Photo: Ahmad Gharabli/Nicholas Kamm/Getty Images

President Biden spoke to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu Saturday and raised concerns about civilian casualties in Gaza and the bombing of the building that housed AP and other media offices, according to Israeli officials.

The big picture: At least 140 Palestinians, including dozens of children, have been killed in Gaza since fighting between Israel and Hamas began Monday, according to Palestinian health officials. Nine people, including two children, have been killed by Hamas rockets in Israel.

Updated 6 hours ago - Politics & Policy

"Horrified": AP, Al Jazeera condemn Israel's bombing of their offices in Gaza

A ball of fire erupts from the Jalaa Tower as it is destroyed in an Israeli airstrike in Gaza. Photo: Majdi Fathi/NurPhoto via Getty Images

The Associated Press and Al Jazeera on Saturday condemned the Israeli airstrike that destroyed a high-rise building in Gaza that housed their and other media offices.

What they're saying: The White House, meanwhile, said it had "communicated directly to the Israelis that ensuring the safety and security of journalists and independent media is a paramount responsibility," according to press secretary Jen Psaki.

Bryan Walsh, author of Future
6 hours ago - Health

The COVID lab-leak theory goes mainstream

The Wuhan Institute of Virology. Photo: Hector Retamal/AFP via Getty Images The COVID lab-leak theory goes mainstream

A group of high-profile scientists published a letter calling for renewed investigation into the origins of COVID-19 — including the theory that it spilled out of a virology lab.

Why it matters: The possibility that SARS-CoV-2 was created in a Chinese lab and accidentally escaped — rather than emerging naturally from an animal — was initially dismissed as a conspiracy theory. But the letter shows a potential lab leak is increasingly being taken seriously.