Fed’s Powell Feels Inflation to Fall by Next Year
On Monday, Jerome Powell, US Federal Reserve Chair, said he expects inflation to fall over the next year as supply and demand rebalance. He warned that the additional COVID-19 strain changes the picture, and prices might increase.
Powell told Congress that the new COVID-19 variation Omicron might have a detrimental impact on employment and inflation. The recent surge of COVID-19 instances and the advent of the Omicron pose hazards to jobs and economic activity and increase inflation. Increased fear of the virus might diminish people’s desire to work in person, slowing labor market improvement and exacerbating supply-chain problems.
On Tuesday, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen appeared before the Senate Banking Committee alongside Powell. The Fed chairman also addressed inflation directly, saying that while it’s difficult to predict the duration and impact of supply limitations, it now looks like factors pushing inflation upward will endure by next year.
On Friday, the World Health Organization said that Omicron is the cause of concern, stating that it appears to spread swiftly and that existing vaccinations are ineffective against it. It will take around two weeks to learn more about its transmissibility, severity, and other features.
The administration in the US rushed to attempt to halt the spread of the new type in the United States, putting all travel restrictions on nations falling under Southern Africa.
Powell’s comments come only days after investors sold U.S. equities, lowering the expectations for future Fed rate rises due to concerns about a new Covid version. On Friday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 900 points to finish the week negatively. On Monday, the stock market began to recover some of its losses.
There are concerns over the spread of the omicron coronavirus variety that drove traders to the relative safety of Treasury bonds on Friday, lowering their expectations for future Fed rate rises.
The United States is progressing in reducing the unemployment rate. After poor September and August results, the economy added higher-than-expected jobs, around 531,000, and revised the two previous reports upwards. The November jobs data will be released by the Labor Department on Friday.