Harker says Fed may need to act if coronavirus takes toll on U.S. economy, but not yet

NEW YORK, Feb 10 (Reuters) - Philadelphia Federal Reserve Bank President Patrick Harker said Monday the U.S. central bank is monitoring the impact of the coronavirus but added there is not much officials can do at the moment.

The Fed’s main tool of reducing interest rates by a quarter of a percentage point is unlikely to offer much relief to companies whose supply chains were interrupted because of shutdowns related to the virus, Harker said during a panel at the University of Delaware.

But, he added, “If the situation gets significantly worse and we start to see significant impact on the U.S. economy, then we have to think about accommodating. But I don’t think we’re at that point right now.”

Reporting by Jonnelle Marte Editing by Leslie Adler