Fed Chairman Powell says he is 'very worried' about growing amount of U.S. debt




Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell is "very worried" about the ballooning amount of United States debt.

The Fed raised its benchmark overnight lending rate four times in 2018 as a part of its goals of maximizing employment and keeping prices in check. Powell and his colleagues have cited months of strong labor statistics and healthy GDP numbers while hiking rates.

However, tepid inflation and concerns surrounding the longevity of the current economic expansion have prompted backlash from some market participants. Fears that policymakers may be elevating borrowing costs at too quick a pace contributed to a broad stock sell-off in the fourth quarter of 2018, with both the Dow Jones Industrial Average and the S&P 500 posting their worst Decembers since the Great Depression.

Recent commentary from central bank members suggests that Fed members may be heeding those concerns. Minutes from the central bank's December meeting showed some members hesitant to hike the federal funds rate , citing the lack of inflationary pressure.

Officials agreed that "some further gradual increases" in the benchmark funds rate would be appropriate, though the low-inflationary backdrop means the Fed can "afford to be patient about further policy firming."

Powell has also underscored the Fed's dependence on economic data when making future decisions on whether to hike interest rates or adjust the rate at which it reduces its balance sheet.

- This is breaking news. Please check back for updates.

COMMENTS

More Related News

Stocks Climb Globally; Oil Gains, Treasuries Drop: Markets Wrap
Stocks Climb Globally; Oil Gains, Treasuries Drop: Markets Wrap

(Bloomberg) -- Want the lowdown on European markets? In your inbox before the open, every day. Sign up here.Stocks in Europe and Asia rose alongside U.S. equity futures as traders parsed the latest trade news from Washington and awaited commentary from the Federal Reserve chief. Treasuries fell with

'Strong economy through 2020': Trump advisers insist recession is not coming

* Peter Navarro and Larry Kudlow dispute market indicators * Tariffs are hurting China not US, trade aide insists Traders work after the opening bell at the New York Stock Exchange on Thursday. Photograph: Johannes Eisele/AFP/Getty ImagesDonald Trump's chief trade advisers insisted on Sunday the US is not facing a recession which markets appear to fear and which could cost the president dearly at the polls next year.Speaking to ABC's This Week, White House trade adviser Peter Navarro defended US policy, predicted a "strong economy through 2020" and disputed the existence of a bond-market indicator of approaching recession that this week sent stocks into their largest one-day sell-off...

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked with *

Cancel reply

Comments

Top News: Economy

facebook
Hit "Like"
Don't miss any important news
Thanks, you don't need to show me this anymore.