May 17, 2022 - Economy

Market sell-off won't stop Fed's interest rate hike campaign

Fed chairman Jerome Powell speaks onstage at a conference

Federal Reserve Board Chair Jerome Powell. (Photo: Samuel Corum/Getty Images)

The recent stock market mayhem won't change the Federal Reserve's plan for a series of aggressive interest rate hikes meant to curb soaring inflation, Fed chair Jerome Powell said on Tuesday.

Why it matters: The nation's most influential economic policymaker says the Fed won't back down from an historic campaign to squash prices rising at the fastest pace in 40 years.

What he's saying: "What we need to see is inflation coming down in a clear and convincing way. We’re going to keep pushing until we see that,” Powell said, speaking at a Wall Street Journal event.

  • "If that involves moving past broadly understood levels of [the neutral interest rate], we won’t hesitate to do that."

Catch up quick: The Fed earlier this month enacted the steepest interest rate hike in over two decades. Powell reaffirmed on Tuesday that the central bank is on pace for similar 50 basis point moves in coming months, "if the economy performs about as we expect."

The bottom line: "It's been good to see financial markets reacting [to] the way we're speaking about the economy," Powell said.

  • "Financial conditions overall have tightened significantly. That's what we need."
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