President Donald Trump chose Jerome Powell, current Federal Reserve governor, former Treasury official and private sector banker, to lead the U.S. central bank, replacing Janet Yellen whose term expires on February 3rd. Mr. Powell's position is subject to Senate confirmation but he is likely to encounter little opposition.
Mr. Powell is widely seen as a proponent of the policies that the Fed has followed under Janet Yellen and he promised to pursue the bank's Congressionally mandated twin goals of stable prices and maximum employment.
“Inside the Federal Reserve, we understand that monetary policy decisions matter for American families and communities,” Mr. Powell said Thursday when introduced at the White House by the President. “I strongly share that sense of mission and am committed to making decisions with objectivity, based on available evidence and in the longstanding tradition of monetary policy independence.” “By many measures we’re close to full employment and inflation has gradually moved up towards our target,”
The Fed is expected to raise rates by 0.25 percent in December for the third hike this year which would bring the Fed Funds rate to 1.50 percent, its highest in nine years.
The U.S. economy has expanded at a 3.05 percnent annual pace in the last two quarters, the strongest six-month performance since 2014. If that pace continues in the current quarter it would be the first time that the economy has grown at 3 percent for nine months in seven years.
On Wednesday the Atlanta Fed revised its GDPNow forecast for the final three months of this year up to 4.5 percent from of 2.9 percent on October 30th.
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