U.S. Fed chair says economy can withstand Fed tightening, Omicron surge
U.S. Fed chair Jerome Powell /CFP

U.S. Fed chair Jerome Powell /CFP

The U.S. Federal Reserve's plans to tighten monetary policy this year shouldn't undercut strong employment in the country, Reuters reports Fed Chair Jerome Powell to have said on Tuesday.

Powell made the remarks while appearing before the U.S. Senate Banking Committee, during which he pointed out that he expected the country to power through the current surge in COVID-19 infections, with any impact on the economy "short-lived" and likely not derailing Fed plans to raise interest rates and decrease its asset holdings this year.

"Inflation is running very far above target. The economy no longer needs or wants the very accommodative policies we have had in place," Reuters quotes him. But "it is a long road" to get monetary policy back to normal, and while it was time to end the Fed's pandemic emergency policies, that "should not have negative effects on the employment market".

Addressing concerns over inflation, Powell told lawmakers he still felt that while the level of price increases required the Fed to act, some relief would come from beyond monetary policy as global supply chains start to catch up with demand.

(With input from Reuters)

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