Fed Chair Jerome Powell arriving to begin testifying Thursday in Washington. Photo: Tom Williams/Press Pool
Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell is making the fight against inflation his top priority over the risks from Russia's invasion of Ukraine, backing a quarter-point interest-rate rise later this month.
In more than three hours of testimony on Wednesday, Powell was peppered with questions about prices from lawmakers with constituents worried by the rising cost of living. The Fed chair suggested that if inflation doesn't start to ease, the central bank may have to get tough. Stocks climbed after Powell said the economy is expanding with enough forceto withstand rate hikes.
In his second dayof testimony on Capitol Hill, Powell cautioned that the Ukraine war could accelerate China's moves to develop alternatives to the current dollar-dominated international payments infrastructure. Oh, and the central bank is still planning to raise interest rates.