Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell promised in testimony before Congress on Wednesday that the central bank is “moving rapidly” to raise interest rates and remains “strongly committed” to doing so as long as ” There is no “clear evidence” that inflation is returning to normal.
In his semiannual testimony on monetary policy to Congress, Powell faced questions from lawmakers about how the central bank will proceed as it looks to tackle rising inflation, which remains at a 41-year high.
The Fed raised 75 basis points last week – its biggest increase since 1994, with Powell also indicating that a similarly large increase is likely at the next policy meeting in July.
Speaking to Congress on Wednesday, Powell pledged that the Fed would not hesitate to raise rates faster—and ahead of estimates—if inflation continues.
“It is essential that we bring inflation down,” he said in prepared remarks, adding that “ongoing rate hikes would be appropriate” until the central bank sees “compelling evidence” that inflation is returning to the long-term target of 2%. .
“The rise in the prices of crude oil and other commodities, which resulted from Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, is driving up gasoline and fuel prices and creating additional upward pressure on inflation,” said Powell, China There are also COVID-19-related lockdowns. “Ongoing supply chain disruptions are likely to intensify.”
Amid the market sell-off this year, Powell told Congress that the Fed will “attempt to avoid adding to uncertainty” in already “extraordinarily challenging” times and is “strongly committed to bringing inflation back.”