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Chairman Jerome Powell says Fed must move ‘forthrightly, strongly’ to fight inflation

Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell on Thursday said the Federal Reserve must move License Photo” height=”532″ src=”https://cdnph.upi.com/svc/sv/upi/9081662675610/2022/1/8ffd3d3490b8ee58a94fd8d123dad997/Chairman-Powell-says-Fed-must-move-forthrightly-strongly-to-fight-inflation.jpg” title=”Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell on Thursday said the Federal Reserve must move “forthrightly” and “strongly” to combat inflation. File Photo by Tasos Katopodis/UPI | License Photo” width=”800″>

Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell on Thursday said the Federal Reserve must move “forthrightly” and “strongly” to combat inflation. File Photo by Tasos Katopodis/UPI | License Photo

Sept. 8 (UPI) — Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell on Thursday said the central bank will hold tight to its goal of combatting inflation by raising interest levels.

Powell, speaking throughout a Q&A presented by the Cato Institute, said that the central bank is focused on decreasing inflation prior to the public begins to see higher prices because the norm.

“We have to act now forthrightly, strongly as we have been doing and we have to stay with it before job is performed,” Powell said.

The Fed has raised rates by substantial and historic increments at its last three policy meetings — a half-point hike in-may and a set of 0.75% hikes in June and July with the federal funds rate currently occur a variety between 2.25%-2.5%.

Investors expect the Federal Open Market Committee will implement another 0.75% hike through the central bank’s Sept. 20-21 policy meeting.

Powell appeared to hint that the central bank will continue its aggressive rate hikes and wouldn’t normally soon reverse course and commence lowering interest levels anytime soon.

“History cautions strongly against prematurely loosening policy,” he said. “I could assure you that my colleagues and I are strongly focused on this project and we’ll stay with it before job is performed.”

Powell said that maintaining these anti-inflation actions can help the central bank avoid “the high social costs” of high prices and finally reach price stability, which he characterized as 2% inflation as time passes.

“The longer inflation remains well above target, the higher risk the general public does commence to see higher inflation because the norm and which has the ability to improve the cost to getting inflation down,” he said.

Powell also cited the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, noting that unemployment was at a 50-year low and inflation was low and stable prior to the virus emerged.

“None of the high inflation that we’re seeing all over the world now could have happened minus the pandemic,” he said. “The pandemic severely disrupted the economy, gave a growth to risks of a lot more dire economic consequences than actually transpired really.”

He said the pandemic resulted in a “large and persistent reduction” in how big is the labor market, while acknowledging that the most recent labor market report on Friday showed “increased labor market participation” but was still a complete percentage point below what it had been pre-pandemic.”

“Demand continues to be very, quite strong in the labor market. Wages are running at elevated levels so we think by our policy interventions what hopefully to achieve is really a amount of growth below trend, that may cause the labor market to obtain back to better balance and which will bring wages back again to levels which are more in keeping with 2% inflation as time passes,” Powell said. “That’s what we’re attempting to achieve.”

Markets were little-changed by Powell’s remarks, with the Dow closing your day up 193 points, but did dip slightly through the interview.

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