“The expansion is still far from complete,” Powell said in a speech to the National Association for Business Economics, a group of corporate and academic economists. “Too little support would lead to a weak recovery, creating unnecessary hardship for households and businesses. Over time, household insolvencies and business bankruptcies would rise, harming the productive capacity of the economy, and holding back wage growth.”

Powell noted that the economic recovery has slowed in recent months compared with its rapid improvement in May and June. Incomes fell in August. And job growth weakened in September, slowing to just 661,000, less than half the gains of 1.5 million in August and 1.8 million in September. The economy has recovered only slightly more than half the 22 million jobs that were lost in March and April.

“A prolonged slowing in the pace of improvement over time could trigger typical recessionary dynamics, as weakness feeds on weakness,” he said.

During a question-and-answer session with economists, Powell noted that the pandemic recession has disproportionately harmed in-person service industries, especially restaurants, bars, hotels, travel companies, movie theaters and other entertainment venues. The heavy damage to those industries has left millions of people unemployed, likely for an extended period, until they are either finally recalled to their previous jobs or switch to new careers.

“The right thing to do and the smart thing to do in the long run is to support those people as they return to their old jobs or find new jobs,” the chairman said.

In recent months, in speeches and in testimony to Congress, Powell has repeatedly urged lawmakers to enact an additional economic aid package. Fed chairs typically avoid inserting themselves into policy debates, but Powell has stressed that the Fed can only lend money to help spur growth.

Actual spending — further

TOKYO, Oct 2 (Reuters)Oil prices fell nearly 1% on Friday, extending losses into a second day as rising production of crude comes amid a worsening COVID-19 pandemic which threatens to bring more restrictions on movement and consumption that will likely hit demand for fuel.

Brent crude LCOc1 was down 36 cents, or 0.9%, at $40.57 a barrel at 0055 GMT, after falling more than 3% on Thursday. U.S. oil CLc1 was also 36 cents, or 0.9%, lower at $38.36, having fallen nearly 4% in the previous session.

U.S. oil is heading for a drop of nearly 5% this week, while Brent is on track to fall more than 3%, in a second consecutive week of decline for both contracts.

“The fundamentals of oil are not encouraging … as supply rises and demand prospects look bleak,” ANZ Research said in a client note.

Rising crude supplies from the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) is weighing on the market as September production rose by 160,000 barrels per day (bpd) from a month earlier, a Reuters survey showed.

The increase was mainly the result of more supplies from Libya and Iran, OPEC members that are exempt from an agreement to withhold production between OPEC and allies led by Russia – a group known as OPEC+.

Libya’s production has risen faster than analysts expected with the relaxation of a blockade by the Libyan National Army, which is trying to take control of the capital and is mainly based in the eastern part of the country, where many oil facilities are located.

Output of crude from Libya has risen to 270,000 bpd as the country ramps up export activity, a Libyan oil source told Reuters on Thursday.

New COVID-19 cases worldwide have rise to more than 34 million, nearly 2 million

TOKYO (Reuters) – Oil prices fell nearly 1% on Friday, extending losses into a second day as rising production of crude comes amid a worsening COVID-19 pandemic which threatens to bring more restrictions on movement and consumption that will likely hit demand for fuel.

Brent crude was down 36 cents, or 0.9%, at $40.57 a barrel at 0055 GMT, after falling more than 3% on Thursday. U.S. oil was also 36 cents, or 0.9%, lower at $38.36, having fallen nearly 4% in the previous session.

U.S. oil is heading for a drop of nearly 5% this week, while Brent is on track to fall more than 3%, in a second consecutive week of decline for both contracts.

“The fundamentals of oil are not encouraging … as supply rises and demand prospects look bleak,” ANZ Research said in a client note.

Rising crude supplies from the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) is weighing on the market as September production rose by 160,000 barrels per day (bpd) from a month earlier, a Reuters survey showed.

The increase was mainly the result of more supplies from Libya and Iran, OPEC members that are exempt from an agreement to withhold production between OPEC and allies led by Russia – a group known as OPEC+.

Libya’s production has risen faster than analysts expected with the relaxation of a blockade by the Libyan National Army, which is trying to take control of the capital and is mainly based in the eastern part of the country, where many oil facilities are located.

Output of crude from Libya has risen to 270,000 bpd as the country ramps up export activity, a Libyan oil source told Reuters on Thursday.

New COVID-19 cases worldwide have rise to more than 34 million, nearly 2 million more than at the