Fed Chair Jerome Powell Reports 'Modest' Progress in Inflation Fight

Fed Chair Jerome Powell Reports 'Modest' Progress in Inflation Fight

Fed Chair Jerome Powell Reports 'Modest' Progress in Inflation Fight

In his recent testimony before Congress, Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell shared insights into the current state of inflation in the United States.

Speaking to the Senate Banking Committee, Jerome Powell conveyed that while progress in curbing inflation has been "modest," there are signs of cautious optimism as the Federal Reserve continues its efforts to stabilize the economy.

The Fed's Response to Pandemic-Induced Inflation


The Federal Reserve has been grappling with inflationary pressures that surged following the Covid-19 pandemic. In response, the Fed implemented a series of interest rate hikes, pushing rates to their highest levels in two decades. This aggressive monetary policy aimed to cool down the overheated economy and bring inflation back to the Fed's long-term target of two percent.

Current Inflation Trends

Powell highlighted that inflation has eased significantly since its peak in 2022. However, he acknowledged that progress had stalled in the first quarter of this year, posing a challenge to the Fed's objectives. Despite this setback, recent data from the second quarter has shown more promising trends, leading to a cautious sense of optimism among policymakers.

Powell's Congressional Testimony

During his testimony, Powell emphasized the "modest further progress" observed in the most recent inflation readings. He noted that additional positive data would bolster the Fed's confidence that inflation is on a sustainable path towards the two percent target. "More good data would strengthen our confidence that inflation is moving sustainably toward two percent," Powell stated, according to his prepared remarks.

Future Monetary Policy Outlook

The Federal Reserve's next steps are being closely watched by market participants. The Fed is widely expected to hold interest rates steady at its upcoming meeting. However, there is growing speculation that the central bank could start cutting rates as early as September. Futures traders have assigned a probability of more than 75 percent that the Fed will make its first rate cut by September, reflecting market anticipation of easing monetary policy.

Economic Context and Challenges

The path to achieving the Fed's inflation target is fraught with challenges. The initial surge in inflation was driven by a combination of supply chain disruptions, increased consumer demand, and fiscal stimulus measures. As these factors began to normalize, the Fed's rate hikes aimed to prevent the economy from overheating further.

However, the economic landscape remains complex. The labor market continues to show strength, with low unemployment rates and rising wages. While this is a positive sign for economic recovery, it also presents a potential risk of wage-driven inflation. Balancing the need to support economic growth while keeping inflation in check is a delicate task for the Fed.

Broader Implications


Jerome Powell's testimony underscores the broader implications of the Fed's actions on the global economy. As one of the world's largest economies, the United States plays a pivotal role in global financial markets. Changes in U.S. interest rates can influence capital flows, exchange rates, and economic conditions in other countries.

Moreover, the Fed's policies are closely monitored by other central banks. A decision to cut rates in September could signal a shift in the global monetary policy landscape, prompting other central banks to reevaluate their own strategies.

Jerome Powell's recent testimony to Congress highlights the "modest" progress made in the fight against inflation. While challenges remain, the Fed's cautious optimism is supported by encouraging data from the second quarter. 

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Daniel Lacalle

Global Economy Expert

Daniel Lacalle is one the most influential economists in the world. He is Chief Economist at Tressis SV, Fund Manager at Adriza International Opportunities, Member of the advisory board of the Rafael del Pino foundation, Commissioner of the Community of Madrid in London, President of Instituto Mises Hispano and Professor at IE Business School, London School of Economics, IEB and UNED. Mr. Lacalle has presented and given keynote speeches at the most prestigious forums globally including the Federal Reserve in Houston, the Heritage Foundation in Washington, London School of EconomicsFunds Society Forum in Miami, World Economic ForumForecast Summit in Peru, Mining Show in Dubai, Our Crowd in Jerusalem, Nordea Investor Summit in Oslo, and many others. Mr Lacalle has more than 24 years of experience in the energy and finance sectors, including experience in North Africa, Latin America and the Middle East. He is currently a fund manager overseeing equities, bonds and commodities. He was voted Top 3 Generalist and Number 1 Pan-European Buyside Individual in Oil & Gas in Thomson Reuters’ Extel Survey in 2011, the leading survey among companies and financial institutions. He is also author of the best-selling books: “Life In The Financial Markets” (Wiley, 2014), translated to Portuguese and Spanish ; The Energy World Is Flat” (Wiley, 2014, with Diego Parrilla), translated to Portuguese and Chinese ; “Escape from the Central Bank Trap” (2017, BEP), translated to Spanish. Mr Lacalle also contributes at CNBCWorld Economic ForumEpoch TimesMises InstituteHedgeyeZero HedgeFocus Economics, Seeking Alpha, El EspañolThe Commentator, and The Wall Street Journal. He holds a PhD in Economics, CIIA financial analyst title, with a post graduate degree in IESE and a master’s degree in economic investigation (UCV).

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