Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan told a gathering Thursday night (May 24) that he couldn’t rule-out the possibility of a recession.
Greenspan also suggested, during a speech to the Economic Club of New York, that more interest rate cuts by the Fed are possible to encourage faster-paced economic growth.
Already, this year, the Fed has lowered interest rates five times, leading major banks to reduce their benchmark prime lending rates to 7.5%, from 9.5% at the beginning of this year.
The next regularly scheduled Fed meeting will be June 26-27, but the Fed lowered interest rates twice this year during specially called meetings.
Greenspan and the Fed kept interest rates relatively high last year because of worries about inflation. But since the beginning of this year, Greenspan and the Fed have said that a recession or an extended period of agonizingly slow growth are bigger concerns than inflation.
During his speech in New York last night, Greenspan reiterated that he is more worried about unacceptably slow growth or a recession than about inflation.