Federal Reserve Bank of New York President John Williams said policy makers are “thinking very hard” about targeting specific yields on Treasury securities as a way of ensuring borrowing costs stay at rock-bottom levels beyond keeping the benchmark interest rate near zero.

Such action can potentially complement the Fed’s forward guidance on rates and other policies, Williams said in an interview Wednesday on Bloomberg Television with Michael McKee and Jonathan Ferro.

The pandemic has taken a heavy toll on the U.S. economy. About 2.4 million Americans filed for unemployment insurance benefits in the week ended May 16, bringing the total to 38.6 million since mid-March when stay-at-home orders were imposed.

Williams said the economic downturn may be near the bottom amid signs of an emerging recovery, and he expects a “pretty significant” rebound in the second half.

Lawmakers have passed $3 trillion of fiscal measures to cushion the blow from the virus and are debating another round of aid. The central bank has slashed interest rates to near zero, flooded financial markets with liquidity and unveiled a number of emergency lending programs to keep credit flowing.

Williams serves as vice chairman of the policy-setting Federal Open Market Committee and is the only regional Fed chief with a permanent vote, out of the 12 presidents.

This article was provided by Bloomberg News.