WASHINGTON (AP) – For months Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell responded to the spike in inflation by advising patience and stressing that the Fed wanted to see unemployment return to near-before levels pandemic before raising interest rates.
But on Wednesday, Powell suggested his patience was running out. High inflation not only persisted, but accelerated to a high of almost four decades. Average wages are increasing. Hiring is solid and unemployment is falling. All of these trends, Powell said at a press conference, have led him and the rest of the Fed’s policymakers to decide that now is the time to step up the Fed’s credit crunch.