Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell announced that the central bank has revised its economic outlook and is no longer anticipating a recession for this year.
This represents a notable shift from previous committee meetings, during which the possibility of a recession was still considered as a potential scenario.
On Wednesday, the Federal Reserve implemented a 25 basis points increase in interest rates following a pause in rates during the previous month of June.
Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell, exuding confidence, officially stated that the central bank is no longer anticipating a recession for this year.
In a calculated move, the Fed made the announcement on Wednesday to increase interest rates by 25 basis points, following a period of steady rates in June. This decision aligns with the bank’s ongoing efforts to bring inflation down to its target of 2%. Despite recent data indicating a cooling trend in prices, Powell emphasized the necessity for further rate hikes to effectively combat inflation.
Powell expressed his satisfaction with the progress made thus far, asserting the unwavering commitment of the Fed to achieve the 2% inflation goal in due course. Acknowledging the unpredictability of inflation’s strength in the past, he stressed the importance of staying agile and responsive to data. He also conveyed a sense of cautious optimism, stating that given the substantial strides already taken, the Fed can afford to exercise patience while maintaining a steadfast resolve as they monitor the situation’s unfolding.
Notably, Powell dismissed concerns about a potential recession by revealing that the Fed’s staff no longer predicts one to occur in 2023. This stands in contrast to earlier Federal Open Market Committee meetings, where such a possibility had not been ruled out by the staff.
Powell’s remarks underscore yet another positive indicator, suggesting that the nation is poised for a soft landing. This favorable scenario allows the Federal Reserve to effectively combat inflation without plunging the economy into a severe downturn. Such sentiments echo the sentiments of other key administration figures, like Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, who expressed optimism in a recent Bloomberg TV interview, stating that although growth has slowed, the labor market remains robust, and she does not foresee a recession. Additionally, Yellen found the latest inflation data to be encouraging, adding to the positive sentiment.
Regarding the prospects of additional rate hikes later this year, Powell remained tight-lipped about the committee’s leanings. With the next Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meeting scheduled for September, Powell asserted that upcoming employment and inflation data would be critical in determining the most appropriate course of action moving forward.
Powell emphasized the committee’s cautious approach, refraining from making preemptive decisions about future meetings or the pace of potential rate hikes. The focus remains on a meticulous assessment of the necessity for further tightening measures, depending on the prevailing economic conditions.