Powell Stresses Commitment to Cooling Prices as Fed Hikes Rates
Comment of the Day

March 22 2023

Commentary by Eoin Treacy

Powell Stresses Commitment to Cooling Prices as Fed Hikes Rates

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“We are committed to restoring price stability, and all of the evidence says that the public has confidence that we will do so,” Chair Jerome Powell said at a press conference following the Fed’s two-day meeting. “It is important that we sustain that confidence with our actions as well as our words.”

Officials are prepared to raise rates higher if needed, he said.

Powell also emphasized the US banking system is sound and resilient, reiterating what officials said in their post-meeting statement, and said the agency is prepared to use all of its tools to maintain stability.

He also acknowledged recent banking turmoil is “likely to result in tighter credit conditions for households and businesses, which would in turn affect economic outcomes,” but added, “It’s too soon to tell how monetary policy should respond.”

Fed policymakers projected rates would end 2023 at about 5.1%, unchanged from their median estimate from the last round of forecasts in December. The median 2024 projection rose to 4.3% from 4.1%.

Eoin Treacy's view

The Fed raised rates as expected and left the door open to hiking further. The bond market continues to expect rate cuts before the end of the year. That implies inflationary pressures are expected to contract significantly this year. That entails higher unemployment and a recession risk. 

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