Bankrate: Powell promotes rate pause in final remarks before upcoming Fed meeting

Bankrate, March 11th, 2019: Powell promotes rate pause in final remarks before upcoming Fed meeting

Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell is making it clear that the U.S. central bank is in no rush to adjust borrowing costs, amid a backdrop of tame inflation, a robust job market and threats to global growth.

Comments made by Powell over the past 72 hours reiterate that his outlook for the economy “is a favorable one.” They also confirmed that “cross-currents” are reinforcing the importance of being “patient,” a buzzword that he and his colleagues have been repeating in speeches since January.

“Despite this favorable picture, we have seen some cross-currents in recent months,” Powell said late Friday night at an economic research summit at Stanford University, his first of three public remarks over the course of three full-days. “With nothing in the outlook demanding an immediate policy response, and particularly given muted inflation pressures, the Committee has adopted a patient, wait-and-see approach to considering any alteration in the stance of policy.”

Powell’s Friday night remarks at Stanford were followed by an interview on CBS’s long-running news series “60 Minutes,” which aired nearly 48 hours later on Sunday night. That culminated Monday with a brief pre-recorded video statement made public at an economics conference in Washington.

Powell finished off on Monday night the last of his public remarks before the next meeting, with a pre-recorded video ahead of the National Community Reinvestment Coalition.

In the video, Powell didn’t talk about monetary policy, but he said the economy’s strength hasn’t favored everyone, including those of low-income urban areas and rural communities.

To address these inequalities, Powell stressed the importance of the Fed’s Community Reinvestment Act, which helps build partnerships between banks and organizations at the local level.

“When lower-income individuals and families struggle, it harms their health and well-being and also weakens our economy,” Powell said. “When people are connected to education, training and other resources that help them secure good jobs and other opportunities, they are better prepared to care for themselves and their families and contribute to a strong economy.”

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