Powell’s incorrect estimate of inflation raises the stakes for a rate change

Powell’s incorrect estimate of inflation raises the stakes for a rate change

In the most carefully watched speech of his term, Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell is anticipated to deliver a more sombre message than he did last year when he told Americans that high inflation was probably only going to be temporary: The struggle to stop price increases is far from done.

After Powell’s upbeat remarks at the annual Jackson Hole conference in 2021, the United States experienced its largest persistent price increase in forty years. Since then, he has changed tactics and vehemently emphasised the Fed’s dedication to bringing down rising inflation by raising interest rates.

But given the potential for a recession, many investors believe the Fed may cave in before that, and many already anticipate the institution to start decreasing borrowing prices later in 2019. The exact reverse of what the central bank wants to happen in order to restrain spending and investment has resulted from that, with market rates falling and stock prices rising from their lows in June.

Now, as he makes his way back to Jackson Hole, Wyoming, Powell must persuade the markets that he is serious when he delivers the keynote talk at the historic economics conference on Friday. If he is unable to do so, the Fed’s efforts to rein in price increases that have shaken the economy, driven consumer confidence to all-time lows, and lowered President Joe Biden’s approval ratings may be undermined.

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