WASHINGTON (AP) — Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell sought to strike a delicate balance at a moment when high inflation is bedeviling the nation’s economy and commanding a central role in the midterm elections.
Powell suggested that the Fed may decide in coming months to slow its aggressive interest rate increases. Yet he also made clear that the Fed isn’t even close to declaring victory in its fight to curb an inflation rate that is near four-decade highs.
The Fed pumped up its key rate by a substantial three-quarters of a point for a fourth straight time. It was the sixth rate hike this year — a streak that has made mortgages and other consumer and business loans increasingly expensive.