Mr Powell told CBS that comparisons to the Depression were not really justified, but said the recovery "could stretch through the end of next year".
More than 36 million people have applied for unemployment benefits in the two months since the coronavirus first forced U.S. businesses to close down and cut staff.
"Assuming there's not a second wave of the coronavirus, I think you'll see the economy recover steadily through the second half of this year", the USA central bank chief said in an excerpt of an interview conducted Wednesday and aired on Sunday on CBS's "Face the Nation" show. "We really don't know", he said.
"We're not out of ammunition", Powell said of the central bank and its willingness to expand existing programmes or add new ones.
Jerome Powell told CBS News on Sunday night that it "may take a while" for the American economy to bounce back from COVID-19 shutdowns, but added that the USA would "get through this" downturn. The Fed's chairman media interview's key highlights were an estimated rise of 20-25% in the employment rate and up to 30% reduction in the GDPs across the world.
Fed chairs use interviews on national television networks sparingly, but the 60 Minutes interview Sunday evening was his second since the USA central bank began putting its financial power behind the virus fight.
Powell added that people will have to be fully confident if the economy is to make a full recovery.
"However, incoming data from most economies highlight the depth of the contraction, raising risks of longer-term scarring that might undermine the recovery". "The recovery will be slower", he said. Congress has already approved roughly $3 trillion in rescue aid for individuals and businesses. Powell said the Fed could also adjust the forward guidance it provides to markets and the pace of its asset purchases. Doing so would give banks and other companies more confidence that borrowing rates will stay lower for longer.
US Fed Chairman assures greater quantitative easing without the negative interest rate..
"I think there's a good chance that there'll be positive growth in the third quarter", Powell later said.