Published: Fri, March 02, 2018
Entertaiment | By Lawrence Myers

New Fed Chair says rates will rise as needed to fight inflation

New Fed Chair says rates will rise as needed to fight inflation

The two-year Treasury yield, which is more influenced by expectations for movements by the Fed, held steady at 2.27 percent. "Further gradual increase in the federal funds rate will best promote attainment of both of our objectives", he added.

The first few days of Powell's mandate were accompanied by serious downturns in global stock markets.

The Fed's last round of economic projections in December pointed to three rate increases this year.

The Taylor rule suggests that the Fed's short-term target rate should be double its current level, Jack Ablin, chief investment officer of Cresset Wealth Advisors in Chicago, said on CNBC.

The world's largest economy grew at a 3 per cent annual pace over the second half of previous year.

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The losses came amid a broad selloff on Wall Street, where the Dow and S&P 500 capped their worst months since January 2016 overnight. That would in turn hurt corporate earnings, clouding the outlook for what had been expected to be another solid year of global economic growth.

Much of the questioning amounted to a review of where the Fed stands on financial regulation.

In contrast to rising rate-hike speculation in the United States, data on Wednesday showing euro zone inflation slowed to a 14-month low in February highlighted that a rate rise from the European Central Bank remains some way off.

Analysts at UBS Wealth Management predicted that U.S. GDP data due later in the day would reinforce "the picture of an economy performing at or above trend, justifying four rate hikes this year".

"He is hawkish in the context of being very upbeat on the economy but willing to go at a moderate pace to normalize policy", Mr Bechtel said. The home currency opened at 65.25 and touched a high and a low of 65.10 and 65.27, respectively.

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Though he said his personal outlook for the economy has strengthened in recent months, Powell declined to speculate on the views of other Fed officials. "We really need to get on a sustainable fiscal path, and the time to really be doing that is now", he said. One change would reduce capital requirements for some large banks, allowing them to rely more heavily on borrowed money.

Michael Feroli, an economist at J.P. Morgan, considers Powell's response to a question about the median FOMC forecast for three hikes in 2018, the most notable development in his semi-annual monetary policy testimony.

A belief that economies around the world have entered a period of synchronized growth in 2018 for the first time in a decade - coupled with a weak dollar - revived the significance of demand for oil prices.

Investors expect the Federal Reserve to raise its benchmark interest rate in March, to a range of 1.5 to 1.75 percent, with some expecting another quarter point increase in June.

It has clawed back from the three-year trough of 88.253 set in mid-February, as fears of a ballooning US budget deficit and worries of a possible weak-dollar policy from Washington took a toll.

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