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Fed's Powell: Some companies say they are holding back on investment due to Trump's trade conflicts

Key Points
  • Fed Chair Jerome Powell said Fed officials are hearing anecdotally that some companies are holding off on hiring and investment because of Trump administration trade policies.
  • But he said there are no signs whatsoever that trade worries are impacting the economy.
  • He said trade is now in the category of a risk.
Jerome Powell, chairman of the U.S. Federal Reserve
Andrew Harrer | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell said some companies are anecdotally telling the central bank that they are holding off on investments and hiring because of Trump administration trade policies, but there are no signs of any economic impact so far.

Powell, speaking at a press briefing, said he would not comment on trade specifics, but did say that the Fed is hearing from companies that they are concerned about changes in trade policy.

"You're beginning to hear reports of companies holding off on making investments and hiring. Right now, we don't see that in the numbers at all. The economy is very strong. The labor market is strong. Growth is strong. We don't see that in the numbers," he said. "I would put it down as more of a risk."

The Trump administration has put tariffs on steel and aluminum imports from Canada, Mexico and Europe and plans to announce new tariffs on a list of Chinese goods on Friday.

WATCH: Trade policy concerns rising

Fed's Powell: Fed presidents report trade policy concerns rising