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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

Ina Fried, author of Login
32 mins ago - Technology

Microsoft to buy Activision Blizzard

Photo: Jakub Porzycki/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Microsoft announced Tuesday it plans to acquire video game giant Activision Blizzard for $68.7 billion in cash.

Why it matters: The move comes as Activision Blizzard has faced a wave of accusations of workplace harassment.

1 hour ago - World

Blinken to visit Ukraine as Russia invasion threat looms

Blinken (R) with President Zelensky. Photo: Efrem Lukatsky/Pool via Getty

Secretary of State Antony Tony Blinken will travel to Ukraine on Tuesday as the country faces an ongoing threat of Russian invasion.

Driving the news: Blinken will meet with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba, as well as officials at the U.S. embassy in Kyiv to discuss contingency planning. He'll then travel to Berlin to meet German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock and attend a meeting of the "Transatlantic Quad" — France, Germany, the U.K. and U.S.

Updated 1 hour ago - World

At least 3 dead after Tonga volcano eruption and tsunami

A satellite image of the explosive eruption of the Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha'apai volcano on Saturday. Photo: UNICEF/NOAA

At least three people are confirmed to have died in Tonga following the undersea volcanic eruption that sent tsunami waves toward the island nation and across the Pacific over the weekend, officials said Tuesday.

The big picture: Officials reported major damage along the western coast of the main island of Tongatapu, where the capital, Nuku'alofa, was covered in ash and dust, including on the runway of the airport. Officials in Tonga confirmed three deaths in the country's first official statement since the crisis began.