MNI BRIEF: FOMC Prepared To Hike More If Data Strong -Powell
January jobs report was "extraordinarily strong," Fed chair says.
The FOMC would be prepared to raise interest rates more than investors expect if data come in stronger than anticipated, Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell said Tuesday after a surprisingly resilient January jobs report.
The "extraordinarily strong" labor market data reinforce the FOMC's view that reining in inflation will take some time, he said. "We didn't expect it to be this strong, but I would say it kind of shows you why we think that this will be a process that takes a significant period of time," he told the Economic Club of Washington.
"If the data were to continue to come in stronger than we expect, and we were to conclude that we needed to raise rates more than is priced into the markets, or than we wrote down at our last group of forecasts in December, then we would certainly do that. We would certainly raise rates more." (See MNI INTERVIEW: Fed Could Need To Hike Again After Pause-Ireland)