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Fed Chair Powell signals potential rate hikes, Dudley urges caution


NEW YORK – The U.S. Federal Reserve’s stance on interest rates remains a topic of intense focus as officials signal a commitment to taming inflation, with the possibility of further rate hikes on the horizon. At a Washington conference on Thursday, Jerome Powell, Chair of the U.S. Federal Reserve, emphasized the unpredictability of inflation and the central bank’s determination to achieve its 2% target, suggesting that interest rates, which are at their highest in 22 years, could climb even higher.

The economy’s resilience and a robust labor market have shown signs of slowing, indicating that the Fed’s current monetary policy is having a restrictive effect. In light of these developments, investors are closely watching for any changes in the direction of monetary policy.

Adding to the dialogue, former New York Fed President William Dudley spoke at the UBS Australasia conference today, where he stressed the importance of high certainty in reaching the 2% inflation goal before considering rate reductions. Citing historical lessons from Arthur Burns’ tenure as Fed Chair during persistently high inflation, Dudley warned against premature rate cuts and noted that a 70% confidence level in meeting the inflation target would not be enough to warrant a change in rates.

Investors remain engaged in speculative discussions about when the Fed will deem interest rates “sufficiently restrictive” and whether potential cuts are on the horizon. With US inflation recorded at 3.7% in September and October figures expected Tuesday night Australian time, these “crystal ball conversations” are set against a backdrop of keen anticipation for new data that could influence the Fed’s next move. Currently, the federal funds rate stands at 5.25%-5.5%, with market participants gauging each piece of economic data for hints on future policy decisions.

This article was generated with the support of AI and reviewed by an editor. For more information see our T&C.

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