Charles Evans, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago Photo: Daniel Acker/Bloomberg News

Chicago Fed leader Charles Evans said Wednesday the economy’s growth rate continues to be restrained by the job market and choices made by companies in a time of uncertainty.

Mr. Evans, whose comments came from the text of a speech in Detroit, didn’t talk about the interest-rate outlook. He is a voting member of the rate-setting Federal Open Market Committee.

“We estimate that the U.S. economy’s trend growth potential currently stands at around 1¾%,” Mr. Evans said. “Many have hoped this trend could be 3% or higher, but the realities of labor markets and business strategies are limiting the economy’s long-run growth potential,” he said.

Mr. Evans said it is even possible trend growth could go lower, to around 1.5% or below, if the economy sees less competition and less innovation, as well as more immigration restrictions.

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