UNITED STATES NEWS

Fed Chair Jerome Powell says Fed won’t rush to cut interest rates

Mar 29, 2024, 7:00 PM

Federal Reserve chair Jerome Powell speaks during a news conference the Federal Reserve in Washingt...

Federal Reserve chair Jerome Powell speaks during a news conference the Federal Reserve in Washington, March 20, 2024. On Friday, March 29, 2024, Powell takes part in a moderated discussion about interest rate policy at the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh, File)

(AP Photo/Susan Walsh, File)

WASHINGTON (AP) — Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell on Friday reiterated a message he has sounded in recent weeks: While the Fed expects to cut interest rates this year, it won’t be ready to do so until it sees “more good inflation readings’’ and is more confident that annual price increases are falling toward its 2% target.

Speaking at a conference at the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, Powell said he still expected “inflation to come down on a sometimes bumpy path to 2%.” But the central bank’s policymakers, he said, need to see further evidence before they would cut rates for the first time since inflation shot to a four-decade peak two years ago.

The Fed responded to that bout of inflation by aggressively raising its benchmark rate beginning in March 2022. Eventually, it would raise its key rate 11 times to a 23-year high of around 5.4%. The resulting higher borrowing costs helped bring inflation down — from a peak of 9.1% in June 2022 to 3.2% last month. But year-over-year price increases still remain above the Fed’s 2% target.

Forecasters had expected higher rates to send the United States tumbling into recession. Instead, the economy just kept growing — expanding at an annual rate of 2% or more for six straight quarters. The job market, too, has remained strong. The unemployment rate has come in below 4% for more than two years, longest such streak since the 1960s.

The combination of sturdy growth and decelerating inflation has raised hopes that the Fed is engineering a “soft landing” — taming inflation without causing a recession. The central bank has signaled that it expects to reverse policy and cut rates three times this year.

But the economy’s strength, Powell said, means the Fed isn’t under pressure to cut rates and can wait to see how the inflation numbers come in.

Asked by the moderator of Friday’s discussion, Kai Ryssdal of public radio’s “Marketplace” program, if he would ever be ready to declare victory over inflation, Powell demurred:

“We’ll jinx it,” he said. ”I’m a superstitious person.”

United States News

Former President Donald Trump sits in a Manhattan Criminal Court on April 19, 2024. A full jury was...

Associated Press

Full jury of 12, with 6 alternates, seated for Donald Trump’s criminal trial

A full jury was seated Friday in Donald Trump’s hush money case, the first criminal trial for a former president in U.S. history.

9 minutes ago

Associated Press

Attorneys argue that Florida law discriminates against Chinese nationals trying to buy homes

An attorney asked a federal appeals court on Friday to block a controversial Florida law signed last year that restricts Chinese citizens from buying real estate in much of the state, calling it discriminatory and a violation of the federal government’s supremacy in deciding foreign affairs. Attorney Ashley Gorski, representing four Chinese nationals who live […]

13 minutes ago

Associated Press

A convicted rapist is charged with murder in the killing of a Connecticut visiting nurse

A convicted rapist was charged with murder and attempted sexual assault Friday in the killing of a visiting nurse at a Connecticut halfway house for sex offenders in October — a crime that spurred calls for better safety measures for home health care workers. Authorities added the charges against Michael Reese, 39, as he appeared […]

23 minutes ago

Associated Press

Catholic priest resigns from Michigan church following protests over his criticism of a gay author

BEAL CITY, Mich. (AP) — A Catholic priest has resigned as pastor of a church in a small central Michigan community, the result of weeks of controversy following his publicly expressed regret that a gay author had read a book to preschool children. Gay rights activists and others have held regular protests outside St. Joseph […]

33 minutes ago

Associated Press

Judge drops some charges against ex-Minnesota college student feared of plotting campus shooting

NORTHFIELD, Minn. (AP) — A judge has dismissed some of the most serious charges against a former Minnesota college student who police and prosecutors feared was plotting a campus shooting. Waylon Kurts, of Montpelier, Vermont, who was then a student at St. Olaf College in Northfield, was charged last April with conspiracy to commit second-degree […]

1 hour ago

Associated Press

A man gets 19 years for a downtown St. Louis crash that cost a teen volleyball player her legs

ST. LOUIS (AP) — A St. Louis man has been sentenced to 19 years in prison for causing a downtown accident that resulted in the amputation of the legs of a teenage volleyball player from Tennessee. Daniel Riley, 22, was convicted last month of second-degree assault, armed criminal action, fourth-degree assault and driving without a […]

4 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

...

DESERT INSTITUTE FOR SPINE CARE

Desert Institute for Spine Care is the place for weekend warriors to fix their back pain

Spring has sprung and nothing is better than March in Arizona. The temperatures are perfect and with the beautiful weather, Arizona has become a hotbed for hikers, runners, golfers, pickleball players and all types of weekend warriors.

...

Midwestern University

Midwestern University Clinics: transforming health care in the valley

Midwestern University, long a fixture of comprehensive health care education in the West Valley, is also a recognized leader in community health care.

...

Collins Comfort Masters

Avoid a potential emergency and get your home’s heating and furnace safety checked

With the weather getting colder throughout the Valley, the best time to make sure your heating is all up to date is now. 

Fed Chair Jerome Powell says Fed won’t rush to cut interest rates