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Data: Investing.com; Chart: Axios Visuals

U.S. Treasury yields rose to fresh highs on Wednesday, as Fed chair Jerome Powell made clear during his second day of Congressional testimony that the central bank had no plans to step in and put a lid on rising rates.

By the numbers: Yields on the benchmark 10-year note rose above 1.4% for the first time since February 2020 and the yield on the 30-year Treasury bond hit 2.28%, the highest since January 2020.

Why it matters: Higher U.S. interest rates and inflation expectations are already impacting the price of things like bank loans and mortgages, but Powell looks to be more focused on maintaining a positive outlook.

  • That could mean rates have much further to go.

What we're hearing: "It would be counterproductive if the Fed used its bond-buying program or increased it to keep yields down," Joseph Trevisani, senior analyst at FXStreet, tells Axios. "It would send a signal that they’re terrified about rates going up at all. That would be absolutely terrible."

Be smart: Though Treasury yields remain historically low, they have risen at a historically fast pace so far this month and in 2021 as markets price in more government stimulus and recovery for U.S. consumer spending in the second and third quarters.

  • Despite the clear move in markets, Powell reiterated that he does not expect to see materially high inflation in the near term and that he does not expect to take any policy action should inflation metrics move above 2% this year because that is likely to be "transitory."

One level deeper: Powell's laissez-faire outlook on inflation was backed up by Fed vice chair Richard Clarida during a speech in Australia.

  • “We to a person are going to be patient, we are going to be very careful, and we are going to be very, very transparent of our intentions well in advance of any decision we might make in the future,” Clarida said.

Go deeper

The pandemic itch

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

After nearly a year of pandemic life, people are making plans to indulge in all the activities they have desperately missed — emboldened by encouraging vaccine news.

Why it matters: Signs of the pent-up demand expected to underscore the economic recovery are already taking shape.

Dion Rabouin, author of Markets
Feb 24, 2021 - Economy & Business

U.S. economic growth expectations go higher still

Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell. Photo: Caroline Brehman/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images)

Fed chair Jerome Powell was the latest to cosign higher U.S. growth expectations on Tuesday, agreeing that he could see the U.S. economy growing in the range of 6% in 2021 and reaching its pre-pandemic level by the first half of this year.

Why it matters: Powell joins an expanding chorus of economists and investors who see the U.S. growing much faster than expected this year, reaching annual GDP growth not seen since the 1980s and about three times the average growth rate of the past 15 years.

Miriam Kramer, author of Space
5 mins ago - Science

China makes history with successful Mars landing

A model of the Tianwen-1 Mars rover is displayed during an exhibition at the National Museum of China in Beijing. Photo: Wang Zhao/AFP via Getty Images

A Chinese lander carrying a rover successfully touched down on Mars for the first time, state media reports.

Why it matters: This is the first time China has landed a spacecraft on another planet, and it launches the nation into an elite club of only a few space agencies to successfully make it to the Martian surface.