United States | The Fed Chairman’s confidence in a slowdown in inflation “not as high”

(Washington) The Chairman of the American Federal Reserve (Fed), Jerome Powell, estimated on Tuesday that the persistence of still high inflation had reduced his level of confidence that it could get closer to the 2% objective. set by the institution.

“The first quarter in the United States was marked by the lack of progress regarding inflation,” regretted the American official during an event in the Netherlands, broadcast online.

“We didn’t expect it to be easy but the numbers have been higher than I think anyone anticipated,” he continued. “What this tells us is that we need to be more patient and let the restrictive policy take effect.”

The American central bank has been maintaining rates for six months at their highest level since the beginning of the century, between 5.25% and 5.50%, in order to bring inflation back to its long-term objective of 2%.

If the increase in rates carried out over the previous eighteen months made it possible to quickly bring down inflation, consumer prices have started to rise slightly since the start of the year, delaying the reduction in rates expected by markets.

If Mr. Powell assures that he still expects a slowdown in inflation, “my confidence in the matter is no longer as high as it was, taking into account the data from these first three months”.

The Fed president, however, believes that the resumption of inflation does not justify further raising rates, which are already at “restrictive” levels.

“I don’t think it’s likely, based on the data we have, that the next move will be upwards. It is more likely that we are at a level where we keep rates where they are,” he detailed.

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