Williams – who was accepting an award in New York on Thursday – said the virus would have near-term effects on the global economy, and the outlook is both evolving and uncertain.
He indicated the central bank was not opposed to cutting rates further, after doing so earlier this week, to ensure that there is ample liquidity in the market.
“In the weeks and months ahead, we will continue to closely monitor developments and their implications for the economic outlook,” Williams said. “We will use our tools and act as appropriate to support the economy.”
Earlier this week, the Federal Reserve – in an emergency action – cut the benchmark federal funds rate by 50 basis points in response to the coronavirus outbreak. That move was made after fears over the economic impact the virus could have around the globe caused the U.S. stock market to selloff in its worst week since the financial crisis.
Williams said on Thursday, however, that the 50 basis-point reduction should sustain the economic expansion.
He also added that the central bank is coordinating with its counterparts around the world – whom have been impacted by the virus.
As previously reported by FOX Business, as of the end of February investors were expecting as many as four rate cuts by the end of the year.
As of Thursday, there were around 150 confirmed coronavirus cases in the U.S. There are more than 95,200 individual cases around the world.
The CDC has cautioned that the United States should be prepared for a widespread breakout.
FOX Business’ Jennifer Schonberger contributed to this report.