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Powell: Fed to Act “Strongly” to Bring Down Inflation


Powell: Fed to Act “Strongly” to Bring Down Inflation By

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Economy 7 minutes ago (Sep 08, 2022 15:10)

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By Scott Kanowsky — Federal Reserve chair Jerome Powell vowed to press on with the U.S. central bank’s fight to cool down red-hot inflation, possibly laying the rhetorical groundwork for another large interest rate rise later this month.

In a closely-watched speech at the Cato Institute’s annual monetary conference, Powell said the Fed would act “forthrightly, strongly” in its bid to bring down consumer prices.

“The longer inflation remains above [the Fed’s 2%] target, the greater the risk that the public does begin to see higher inflation as the norm, and that has the capacity to really raise the cost of getting inflation down,” Powell said. “History strongly cautions against prematurely loosening policy.”

Powell added that the Fed would “keep at until the job is done,” reiterating a pledge he made in Jackson Hole, Wyoming last month.

His comments come after Fed vice chair Lael Brainard said on Wednesday that the central bank was dedicated to battling inflation “for as long as it takes.”

The Fed has already raised borrowing costs by 225 basis points since March. But persistently high inflation, as well as continued job market tightness and the subsequent support it brings to demand, may serve to bolster policymakers’ case for keeping rates higher for longer.

The central bank’s next scheduled meeting is September 20-21, with more than 80% of traders expecting it to increase rates by 75 basis points for a third time this year, according to the CME’s FedWatch tool.

The U.S. 2-Year Treasury Yield, which is highly sensitive to short-term interest rate changes, rose to as high as 3.49% as Powell delivered his remarks, while stock indices on Wall Street traded in the red.

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