WASHINGTON – President Joe Biden is about to fulfill with Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell as hovering inflation takes a chunk out of Americans’ pocketbooks.
The assembly Tuesday would be the first since Biden renominated Powell to steer the central financial institution and is derived weeks after his affirmation for a 2d time period by way of the Senate.
The White House stated the pair would talk about the state of the U.S. and world economic system and particularly inflation, described as Biden’s “top economic priority.” The goal, the White House said, is a “transition from an historic economic recovery to stable, steady growth that works for working families.”
Inflation in the U.S. hit a 40-year high earlier this year, amid supply chain constraints caused by the global economy’s recovery from the pandemic and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
But the economy saw a welcome bit of data Friday, as the Commerce Department said inflation rose 6.3% in April from a year earlier, the first slowdown since November 2020 and a sign that high prices may finally be moderating, at least for now.
The inflation figure was below the four-decade high of 6.6% set in March. While high inflation is still causing hardships for millions of households, any slowing of price increases, if sustained, would provide some modest relief.
Powell has pledged to keep ratcheting up the Fed’s key short-term interest rate to cool the economy until inflation is “coming down in a clear and convincing way.” Those rate hikes have spurred fears that the Fed, in its drive to slow borrowing and spending, may push the economy into a recession. That concern has caused sharp drops in stock prices in the past two months, though markets rallied last week.
Powell has signaled that the Fed will most likely carry its benchmark fee by way of a half-point in each June and July — two times the dimensions of the standard fee building up.
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