Fed's new chairman Jerome Powell testifies before Congress for the first time.

Rose Prince

2018-02-27 09:35:00 Tue ET

Fed's new chairman Jerome Powell testifies before Congress for the first time. He vows to prevent price instability for U.S. consumers, firms, and financial institutions by gradually raising interest rates to contain inflation. Stock market observers and commentators warn of the key Yellen-Powell regime switch from dovish to hawkish monetary policy decisions.

However, Powell seeks to balance the need to guard against excessive inflation with the real benefits of allowing the U.S. economy to enjoy the tailwinds of Trump fiscal stimulus, economic output expansion, employment, and steady wage growth. The Federal Reserve now explores whether the U.S. unemployment rate can fall to the lowest range of 3.8% to 4.1% in 17 years before inflation starts to accelerate. In accordance with Powell's congressional testimony, the Federal Reserve’s main monetary policy instruments include its gradual upward interest rate adjustment, balance sheet shrinkage, and 2% symmetric core CPI inflation target.

Powell confines his testimony to the dual mandate of both maximum employment and price stability with minimal discussions of distributional economic inequality issues in America. With respect to financial regulation, Powell expects to roll back at least some of the stricter Dodd-Frank rules and stress tests on large banks and other financial institutions.

 


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