Powell warns of ‘some pain’ ahead as the Fed fights to bring down inflation

Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell delivered a stern commitment Friday to halting inflation, warning that he expects the central bank to continue raising interest rates in a way that will cause “some pain” to the U.S. economy.

In his much-anticipated annual policy speech at Jackson Hole, Wyoming, Powell affirmed that the Fed will “use our tools forcefully” to attack inflation that is still running near its highest level in more than 40 years.

Even with a series of four consecutive interest rate increases totaling 2.25 percentage points, Powell said this is “no place to stop or pause” even though benchmark rates are probably around an area considered neither stimulative nor restrictive to growth.

“While higher interest rates, slower growth, and softer labor market conditions will bring down inflation, they will also bring some pain to households and businesses,” he said in prepared remarks. “These are the unfortunate costs of reducing inflation. But a failure to restore price stability would mean far greater pain.”

Stocks briefly extended losses as Powell began his speech, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average off nearly 200 points. The market later steadied, with the Dow off narrowly. Treasury yields were off their highs of the session.

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