WRITTEN BY ALICIA HOPE
Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell warned Americans of expected pain as the agency forcefully deals with inflation.
Jerome said that higher interest rates would persist for some time as prematurely loosening policy was a dangerous move.
No quick solution for inflation; expect some pain.
“While higher interest rates, slower growth, and softer labor market conditions will bring down inflation, they will also bring some pain to households and businesses,” he stated. “These are the unfortunate costs of reducing inflation. But a failure to restore price stability would mean far greater pain.”
The fed’s statement comes after inflation stagnated near the peak in four decades while interest rates witnessed a cumulative increase of 2.25% in 2022.
Powell wants to avoid “draconian” interest rate hikes like those witnessed in the 1970s under then-Fed Chairman Paul Volcker. He attributes such drastic measures to the fed’s failure to act firmly and tame inflation.
However, the Federal Reserve has modest goals of reducing inflation. The agency plans to maintain inflation at a long-term goal of 2%, a far cry from the pre-Biden levels of 1.2% in 2020.
Although inflation seems to have peaked after reaching record levels, there is little hope of subsiding this year.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the consumer price index increased by 8.5% in July 2022. This increase was despite a 4.6% reduction in energy prices, including a 7.7% fall in gasoline prices.
However, the fed chair indicated that maintaining price stability was equally important for the government agency.
In his brief speech, Powell failed to explain how the Federal Reserve intends to address the increase in prices of commodities.
The Federal Reserve chairman says a recession is inevitable.
The U.S. economy also witnessed a negative growth rate suggesting a recession was on the way. Powell indicated that recession was inevitable. Thus, American households must tame their expectations.
He suggested that addressing inflation at the expense of economic growth was the most appropriate course of action.
However, Powel believes that the U.S. economy is strong despite signs of early signs of a recession marked by negative economic growth.