Federal Reserve Chair Powell Signals Continued Fight Against Inflation, Cautions High Prices May Persist


FILE - Federal Reserve Board chair Jerome Powell speaks during a news conference the Federal Reserve in Washington, March 20, 2024. On Wednesday, April 10, 2024, the Federal Reserve releases minutes from its March meeting, when it kept its key short-term interest rate unchanged for a fifth straight time. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh, File)
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(AURN News) – Every time you head to the grocery store or to the gas pump, you’re reminded just how expensive everything has gotten. American consumers already grappling with stubbornly high prices received more discouraging news this week from the nation’s top monetary policymaker.

Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell said the central bank’s fight against soaring inflation is not going as well as officials had hoped. In remarks given Tuesday at the International Research Forum on Monetary Policy in Washington, D.C., Powell acknowledged that “recent readings on both job gains and inflation have come in higher than expected.”

The Fed has implemented a series of interest rate hikes in an effort to cool the economy and rein in price increases, most recently choosing to hold rates at their current levels. There were even suggestions among economists that we may see rate decreases at some point this year. 

“While we have seen considerable progress in lowering inflation, the job of sustainably restoring 2% inflation is not yet done,” Powell cautioned.

“My baseline outlook continues to be that inflation will decline further, with the policy rate held steady at its current level, and that the labor market will remain strong, with labor demand and supply continuing to rebalance,” Powell said.

“Of course, the outlook is still quite uncertain, and if incoming data suggest that inflation is more persistent than I currently expect it to be, it will be appropriate to hold in place the current restrictive stance of policy for longer.”

Translation: be prepared to continue paying higher prices for the time being.

Click play to listen to the AURN News report from Jamie Jackson:

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