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Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell speaks Thursday before the U.S. Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs in day two of his congressionally mandated semiannual testimony on monetary policy.
In remarks Wednesday before the House Financial Services Committee, the central bank leader said the war in Ukraine had “highly uncertain” potential impacts on the economy. But he said the Fed is still prepared to move forward with interest rate increases aimed at taming runaway inflation.
Powell noted that the lookout otherwise is solid, with an “extremely tight” labor market and price pressures that he still expects to recede later in the year. He expects the Fed to raise its benchmark borrowing rate a quarter-percentage point at the March policy meeting, but added that he will consider potentially larger increases if inflation remains hot.
“I think it’s appropriate for us to move ahead. Inflation is high. The committee is committed to using our tools to bring it back down to levels of price stability, which is to say 2% inflation,” he said Wednesday. “I would also say that given the current situation, we need to move carefully and we will. We need to be nimble.”