Fed to use tools to prevent higher inflation, says chair
Jerome Powell vows not to allow inflation from 'becoming entrenched' in US economy
The US Federal Reserve will use its tools to back the economy and a strong labor market and to "prevent higher inflation from becoming entrenched," the bank's chair pledged.
"The economy has rapidly gained strength despite the ongoing pandemic, giving rise to persistent supply and demand imbalances and bottlenecks, and thus to elevated inflation," Jerome Powell said in his prepared remarks to be delivered at a Senate hearing on Tuesday.
"We know that high inflation exacts a toll, particularly for those less able to meet the higher costs of essentials like food, housing, and transportation. We are strongly committed to achieving our statutory goals of maximum employment and price stability," he further said in a statement released by the Fed on Monday.
Powell will face the Senate for his confirmation hearing later Tuesday after President Joe Biden in November nominated him to serve another four-year term to lead the central bank.
The Fed is expected to end its asset purchases in March and to make at least three rate hikes this year, of which first could come as early as March.
The bank said in a separate statement on Monday that Vice Chair Richard H. Clarida will resign from the Federal Reserve Board of Governors on Friday, two weeks before the end of his term.
"Rich's contributions to our monetary policy deliberations, and his leadership of the Fed's first-ever public review of our monetary policy framework, will leave a lasting impact in the field of central banking ... I will miss his wise counsel and vital insights," Powell said in the statement.
Clarida's resignation comes after his financial disclosure last month showed that he sold a stock fund and then repurchased it right before the Fed announced coronavirus programs to support the economy.