By Scott Kanowsky
Investing.com — Federal Reserve chair Jerome Powell vowed to press on with the U.S. central bank’s fight to cool down red-hot inflation, possibly laying the rhetorical groundwork for another large interest rate rise later this month.
In a closely-watched speech at the Cato Institute’s annual monetary conference, Powell said the Fed would act “forthrightly, strongly” in its bid to bring down consumer prices.
“The longer remains above [the Fed’s 2%] target, the greater the risk that the public does begin to see higher inflation as the norm, and that has the capacity to really raise the cost of getting inflation down,” Powell said. “History strongly cautions against prematurely loosening policy.”
Powell added that the Fed would “keep at until the job is done,” reiterating a pledge he made in Jackson Hole, Wyoming last month.
His comments come after Fed vice chair Lael Brainard said on Wednesday that the central bank was dedicated to battling inflation “for as long as it takes.”
The Fed has borrowing costs by 225 basis points since March. But persistently high inflation, as well as continued job market tightness and the subsequent support it brings to demand, may serve to bolster policymakers’ case for keeping rates higher for longer.
The central bank’s next scheduled meeting is September 20-21, with more than 80% of traders expecting it to increase rates by 75 basis points for a third time this year, according to the CME’s FedWatch tool.
, which is highly sensitive to short-term interest rate changes, rose to as high as 3.49% as Powell delivered his remarks, while stock indices on Wall Street traded in the red.
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