Fed Chair Powell: US Economy Remains a Long Way From Targets

Fed Chair Powell: US Economy Remains a Long Way From Targets

US Federal Reserve Chief Powell gives testimony on monetary policy before Congress. “The economy is still far from meeting its inflation and employment targets,” Powell said. His prepared remarks before addressing Congress also confirm that the outlook has improved.

In a semi-annual testimony, Fed Chairman Jerome Powell admitted that “the number of new (coronavirus) cases and hospitalizations is falling, and ongoing vaccinations offer hope for a return to more normal conditions later this year.”

The US dollar is retreating from highs and stocks are bouncing off lows on initial reaction. Powell also says it will take time to make “significant further progress”. In any case, he said, the Fed will announce changes in bond purchases “in advance.”

Perhaps the softest statement is that he promises not to tighten monetary policy solely in response to a strong labor market. Another caveat: growth has slowed significantly since summer.
Rise in US Consumer Confidence, As WTI Recovers on Powell Statement
Consumer confidence at the US Conference Board rose to 91.3 in February from 88.9, above expectations of 90.2. The current situation index rose from 85.5 to 92.0. However, the index of expectations fell from 91.2 to 90.8.

Equities rebounded from open lows in recent trading after the crash, presumably thanks to mild assurances from Fed Chairman Jerome Powell, who spoke by videoconference in his semi-annual speech to Congress, which helped push WTI back to the middle. – $ 61.00

Meanwhile, crude oil markets are gearing up for an OPEC + meeting next week and a potential clash between the Saudis and Russians over how much to increase production. Most expect the cartel to cut production quotas by about 500,000 barrels per day.

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Author : Azeez Mustapha

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Azeez Mustapha is an experienced author, trader, markets analyst, signals strategist, and funds-manager.