Powell says inflation is still ‘soft’ and the Fed is committed to current policy

powell says inflation is still soft and the fed is committed to current policy

Inflation and employment remain well below the Federal Reserve’s goals, meaning easy monetary policy is likely to stay in place, central bank Chairman Jerome Powell said Tuesday.

Despite a sharp rise this year in bond yields that has accompanied heightened concern over inflation, Powell said price pressures remain mostly muted and the economic outlook is still “highly uncertain.”

“The economy is a long way from our employment and inflation goals, and it is likely to take some time for substantial further progress to be achieved,” the Fed chief said in prepared remarks for the Senate Banking Committee.

He added that the Fed is “committed to using our full range of tools to support the economy and to help ensure that the recovery from this difficult period will be as robust as possible.”

Markets pared losses after the release of Powell’s remarks though major averages remained negative across the board. Treasury yields briefly rose then fell back and were little changed on the session.

However, Powell’s statement did not mention the market’s most pressing concern: the jump in 2021 of longer-duration government bond yields to levels not seen since before the Covid-19 pandemic. The 30-year bond, for instance, is up more than half a percentage point and the benchmark 10-year yield has risen 44 basis points…

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