Powell says Fed will be ‘patient’ with monetary policy in 2019
Powell says Fed will be ‘patient’ with monetary policy in 2019
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06 January, 2019, 00:37
Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell on Friday moved to ease concerns in financial markets, saying that while US economic momentum is solid, the central bank is sensitive to the risks highlighted by investors and will be patient with its monetary policy in 2019.
Asked if he would resign if Trump asked him to do so, Powell responded with a short "no".
He also noted the markets' perception of downside risks to economic growth, adding that the Fed will be patient with monetary policy. He also said that the Fed could alter its approach to trimming its huge balance sheet if it determines such a change is needed.
"We will be patient as we watch to see how the economy evolves", he said.
Speaking after months of volatility in world bond and stock markets, Powell avoided some of the communication missteps that in the past have roiled rather than calmed investors. The tepid response is because we're going to hear from Fed Chair Jerome Powell at 10:15 am ET and the Markit services PMI shortly beforehand.
Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell on the state of the US economy, the December jobs report and the ISM report on manufacturing.
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Powell's willingness to be flexible on interest rates was welcome news to investors, many of whom anxious that Fed chair risked cutting off the current economic expansion by continuing to raise interest rates despite signs the US economy was cooling off a little.
US President Donald Trump has been one of the loudest critics of the rising rates, which raise the cost of borrowing and risk dampening economic growth. Under the law that governs the Federal Reserve, a president can only remove a Fed chairman for cause.
Investors have grown nervous in recent months, anxious in part about moves by the Federal Reserve to increase interest rates, despite signs of a global growth slowdown.
Asked if any future meeting with Trump was scheduled, Powell said, "I have no news on that".
The Labour Department reported Friday that USA employers added a net 312,000 new positions in December, smashing economists' expectations.
The recent market turbulence has posed a dilemma for the Fed, as a seeming loss of confidence in financial markets about the US economy's prospects was offset by upbeat data from the real economy, including a strong December jobs report. Markets, however, have mostly tumbled since October on fears of a global economic slowdown and the ongoing U.S. It marked the ninth time the Fed has raised interest rates since 2015.
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