Fed may take steps to keep inflation from being permanent

Washington-DC

Interest rates could gradually rise as early as next March

WASHINGTON (Nexstar) — Americans are seeing prices continue to rise everywhere from the grocery store to the gas pump. Republicans blame Democrats. Democrats blame problems including high demand for goods that can’t be produced or imported quickly because of pandemic-related labor shortages worldwide.

“The policies that have been put in place this year by the Biden administration and folks in this body have led to rampant inflation,” Oklahoma GOP Sen. James Lankford said.

Now, Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell said the Fed is considering steps to prevent the high inflation from becoming permanent.

“High inflation imposes a significant hardship especially on those least able to meet the higher costs of essentials like food housing and transportation,” Powell said.

First, the Fed plans to phase out purchases of Treasury bonds and securities, then it could gradually increase interest rates as early as next March.

Those interest hikes mean consumers will see higher rates on mortgages and credit cards, but the combination of steps should help fight inflation because it should help to curb demand.

Powell said these actions are projections based on the economy remaining strong with low unemployment, “and no one knows with any certainty where a year or more from now.”

The Fed chair said they will continue to evaluate what actions are needed as the pandemic continues.

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