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Fed chairman defends steady interest rate hikes

Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell says he sees no sign that the US economy is overheating.And al...

Posted: Aug 24, 2018 4:59 PM
Updated: Aug 24, 2018 4:59 PM

Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell says he sees no sign that the US economy is overheating.

And although prices are rising, Powell said there is no indication inflation will speed out of control.

"We have seen no clear signs of an acceleration above 2%, and there does not seem to be an elevated risk of overheating," Powell said in prepared remarks for a speech in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. "This is good news."

The Fed has been trying to strike a balance: It wants to raise interest rates steadily to keep the economy from overheating, but raising rates too quickly could help start a recession.

For now, the chairman has maintained that gradual interest-rate increases are the best way to balance those risks.

The US economy hasn't been this healthy since the financial crisis. Unemployment is historically low and expected to decline further. Wage growth is starting to pick up. And inflation is finally at the level the Fed considers healthy for the economy.

"The economy is strong," Powell said. "And most people who want a job are finding one."

The speech was the first time the Fed chairman has spoken publicly since President Donald Trump renewed his criticism of the central bank for raising rates.

The Fed chairman did not address those attacks, but instead argued in favor of staying the course.

"If the strong growth in income and jobs continues, further gradual increases... will likely be appropriate," Powell said.

Since Trump took office, the Fed has raised rates five times, including twice this year under Powell. Two more rate hikes are expected in 2018, and the Fed has penciled in three more in 2019.

Powell reassured investors that the Fed would be prepared to do "whatever it takes" should inflation start to pick up.

Minnesota Coronavirus Cases

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Reported Deaths: 1681
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Ramsey7307263
Dakota4250104
Anoka3553114
Stearns287420
Washington203744
Nobles17546
Olmsted170023
Scott150318
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Sherburne7107
Kandiyohi6871
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Lyon4243
Todd4222
Freeborn3581
Steele3381
Nicollet32913
Benton3163
Watonwan3070
Winona25716
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Beltrami2170
Le Sueur2131
Martin2065
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Cottonwood1760
McLeod1730
Becker1491
Pipestone1499
Polk1494
Douglas1380
Waseca1380
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Carlton1330
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Wadena250
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Lake200
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Clearwater140
Traverse100
Lac qui Parle60
Cook30
Kittson30
Lake of the Woods20

Iowa Coronavirus Cases

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Confirmed Cases: 47904

Reported Deaths: 913
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Polk10132206
Woodbury370951
Black Hawk309963
Linn231487
Johnson205416
Dallas185935
Buena Vista179112
Scott167414
Dubuque165331
Marshall143225
Pottawattamie129426
Story115114
Wapello87633
Muscatine84548
Webster7937
Crawford7263
Sioux6193
Cerro Gordo59817
Warren5501
Tama54729
Jasper47126
Wright4631
Plymouth4559
Dickinson3784
Louisa37814
Clinton3703
Washington29410
Boone2462
Hamilton2451
Franklin2359
Bremer2107
Clarke1973
Emmet1904
Carroll1851
Clay1811
Shelby1801
Hardin1750
Marion1660
Des Moines1582
Poweshiek1568
Allamakee1544
Benton1511
Jackson1501
Floyd1452
Mahaska13817
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Cedar1291
Jones1282
Buchanan1241
Hancock1212
Butler1192
Henry1193
Pocahontas1151
Madison1142
Lyon1102
Lee1083
Humboldt1061
Cherokee1041
Clayton1043
Delaware1031
Harrison1030
Iowa961
Taylor960
Page940
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