Powell signals Fed to stay on hold and keep future hike on table

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'Given the uncertainties and risks, and how far we have come, the committee is proceeding carefully,' Powell said.

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Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell suggested the US central bank is inclined to hold interest rates steady again at its next meeting while leaving open the possibility of a future hike if policymakers see further signs of resilient economic growth.

Protesters disrupt Before beginning his remarks, Powell was briefly escorted out of the room after protesters interrupted the New York event. The demonstrators, who were standing arm in arm, were chanting “end fossil finance” and were forcibly removed from the stage before Powell returned. Core inflation, excluding volatile food and energy prices, has decelerated to just below 4% on an annual basis and just below 3% on a three-month annualized measure.

He also cited key risks from geopolitical tensions, which he called “highly elevated.” He said he found the attack on Israel to be “horrifying, as is the prospect for more loss of innocent lives.” “They’re revising their view about the overall strength of the economy and thinking even longer term it may require higher rates,” Powell said. “There may be a heightened focus on fiscal deficits. QT could be part of it.”Fed officials have restated their intention to get inflation back to 2%, though minutes of the September meeting now show they are also weighing the risk of too much restraint and sending the economy into a downturn.

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