Powell warns Fed could accelerate rate hikes amid inflation, growth
“As I mentioned, the latest economic data have come in stronger than expected, which suggests that the ultimate level of interest rates is likely to be higher than previously anticipated. If the totality of the data were to indicate that faster tightening is warranted, we would be prepared to increase the pace of rate hikes.”
That was Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell testifying in front of the Senate Banking Committee this morning.
He came with a warning — the Fed could accelerate rate hikes if evidence continues to point to a robust economy and persistently high inflation.
The latest reading of the Fed’s preferred inflation measure showed consumer prices rose from December to January by the most in seven months.
Reports on hiring — consumer spending — and the broader economy have also indicated that growth remains healthy.
Powell’s comments today raises the possibility the Fed could raise its key interest rate by 50 basis points at its next meeting.
This would follow a hike of 25 basis points last month.