Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell has reaffirmed the Fed’s hawkish stance. Noting that the latest economic data indicates that the Fed’s policy “may not be restrictive enough” and “has not been restrictive for long enough,” Powell stated that the central bank could raise interest rates “at consecutive meetings.”
Fed Chairman Powell on Rate Hikes
Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell reaffirmed the Fed’s hawkish stance on Wednesday during a central banker panel hosted by the European Central Bank in Sintra, Portugal. With the next Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meeting slated for July 25-26, Powell emphasized that the Fed is not done curbing inflation and hinted at the possibility of consecutive interest rate hikes. The Federal Reserve paused raising interest rates in June after 10 consecutive rate hikes.
“If you look at the data over the last quarter, what you see is stronger than expected growth, a tighter than expected labor market, and higher than expected inflation,” Powell detailed, adding:
That tells us that although policy is restrictive, it may not be restrictive enough and it has not been restrictive for long enough.
Powell noted that Fed officials have not decided on the timing and magnitude of additional interest rate hikes. Nonetheless, he shared:
I wouldn’t take moving at consecutive meetings off the table at all.
During an event held by Spain’s central bank in Madrid on Thursday, the Fed chair clarified: “We expect the moderate pace of interest rate decisions to continue.”
Last week, Powell said: “Inflation pressures continue to run high, and the process of getting inflation back down to 2 percent has a long way to go.” He further stated that a minimum of two more interest-rate hikes this year are likely necessary to steer inflation towards the Fed’s 2% target. The Fed chairman also rejected the possibility of a rate cut in the near future, stating that while “it will be appropriate to cut rates at a time when inflation is coming down really significantly, we’re talking about a couple of years out.”
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