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Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell told Congress Tuesday he will be patient before pulling back from near-zero interest rates as the economy reopens with solid job growth and more regular production that slows down price gains.
"We will not raise rates preemptively" because employment appears too high, Powell said in testimony to the House select subcommittee on the coronavirus. Policy makers still have work to do on on having a more inclusive recovery even as "job creation will be moving up well over the rest of the year."
Inflation could turn out to be more persistent than expected and the central bank is prepared to use its tools if this turns out to be the case, Powell said. Former Kansas City Fed President Thomas Hoenig told MNI last week that building price pressures could force the Fed to raise interest rates next year.
"The incoming data are very much consistent with the view that these are factors that will wane over time" towards our goals, Powell said.