Powell, Yellen head to Congress as inflation, variant risks rise

Asia's Tech News Daily

By Lindsay Dunsmuir

Powell, Yellen head to Congress as inflation, variant risks rise
© Reuters/KEVIN LAMARQUE FILE PHOTO: Federal Reserve Chairman Powell testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington

(Reuters) – U.S. lawmakers on Tuesday are expected to grill the heads of the Federal Reserve and Treasury Department over stubbornly high inflation and the possible impact of the new Omicron COVID-19 variant on what both officials view as a strong economy.

Fed Chair Jerome Powell and Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen are due to testify before the U.S. Senate Banking Committee at 10 a.m. EST (1500 GMT) to discuss the economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. They will also appear before the House of Representatives Financial Services Committee on Wednesday.

Both released their prepared testimony late Monday, with Powell projecting 5% growth this year but noting the new variant poses downside risks to economic activity and jobs and raises uncertainty around inflation.

Yellen warned lawmakers that failure to deal with the debt limit would “eviscerate” the recovery.

With inflation at a 31-year high and the Fed’s preferred measure of price pressures more than double its 2% goal, the U.S. central bank’s promise to keep its benchmark overnight interest rate near zero until the labor market is fully healed is under threat.

U.S. unemployment currently stands at 4.6% and businesses have nearly 5 million fewer people on their collective payrolls than they did pre-pandemic.

The Fed this month began to reduce its support for the economy, and is currently on pace to fully taper its $120 billion in monthly purchases of Treasuries and mortgage-backed securities by next June. The program was introduced in early 2020 to help nurse the economy through the pandemic.

With costs of everyday items like food, gas and rent rising quickly, Fed officials have indicated they could speed up the pace of the taper to give more scope for an earlier interest rate lift-off next year if required, according to the minutes https://www.reuters.com/markets/us/with-feds-powell-renominated-focus-turns-speed-bond-buying-taper-2021-11-24 of the central bank’s last policy meeting published last week. The topic is on the agenda for the Fed’s Dec. 14-15 policy meeting.

That and other recent comments from officials have prompted analysts to place rising bets that the Fed could now raise rates as early as mid-2022.

Goldman Sachs, in a note to clients, said there was “a significant risk” the timeline for the tapering of the central bank’s asset purchases would be accelerated.

In his prepared remarks Powell did not mention taper at all, but his comments on the variant suggest he is worried both about the economy slowing and the potential for further inflation pressure, a difficult situation that would tug Fed policy in opposite directions.

“The new COVID variant could complicate any plans to accelerate the taper at the December meeting, which is the direction momentum was heading ahead of the variant discovery,” said Sam Bullard, senior economist at Wells Fargo.

NEW VARIANT

Health officials are racing to determine how transmissible and deadly the new variant is and to what extent current vaccines remain protective. The United States has imposed a travel ban on some southern African nations where the strain is prevalent.

The now-dominant Delta variant of COVID-19 dented the U.S. economy over the summer, slowing employment gains amid workers’ fears of contracting the virus and exacerbating supply chain snags that have driven up inflation.

“It is difficult to predict the persistence and effects of supply constraints, but it now appears that factors pushing inflation upward will linger well into next year,” Powell said in his prepared remarks.

Concern about the recent rise in COVID-19 cases and the emergence of the new Omicron variant, he said, “could reduce people’s willingness to work in person, which would slow progress in the labor market and intensify supply-chain disruptions.”

(Reporting by Lindsay Dunsmuir and Ann Saphir; Editing by Paul Simao and Richard Pullin)

Internet Explorer Channel Network
Asia's Tech News Daily
News Related

OTHER NEWS

Netaji statue to be installed at India Gate, likely in August

© Provided by The Times of India NEW DELHI: A statue of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose will be installed at India Gate in what marks a fitting recognition of the ... Read more »

Business groups beg Rishi to help with energy bills

Five business groups have written to Rishi Sunak to ask for help paying their heating bills as energy prices soar. The British Chambers of Commerce, Confederation of British Industry, Federation ... Read more »

Basic Brake Upgrades Make the New Subaru BRZ a Track Day Beast

We drove the new-for-2022 Subaru BRZ last year and absolutely loved it. One of very few truly affordable sports cars still on the market, it’s the perfect blend of usability ... Read more »

Jessica Pegula, daughter of Bills owners, into round of 16 at Australian Open on same weekend as NFL divisional playoff

Three American women have sealed their spots in the round of 16 at the Australian Open, including 27-year-old Jessica Pegula. Pegula’s family won’t just be watching her crucial match this ... Read more »

Giuliani associate being sentenced in campaign donation case

© Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved Giuliani Associates – Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved A Florida man who helped Rudy Giuliani seek damaging information ... Read more »

Edinburgh crime: Five-figure sum stolen after fraudsters swap card machines in hospitality businesses

© Edinburgh crime: Five-figure sum stolen after fraudsters swap card machines in hospitality businesse… Two incidents were reported on Thursday, January 20, in the city centre where the suspects are ... Read more »

Charity sponsors urged not to pull support over chairman with 18 cats

© Cats Protection Linda Upson – Cats Protection Major sponsors of Britain’s biggest cat charity have been urged not to end their support out of “embarrassment” over revelations the chairman ... Read more »

Poland's ex-president Lech Walesa diagnosed with Covid

© Dominic Lipinski Former Polish president Lech Walesa (Dominic Lipinski/PA) Lech Walesa, Poland’s ex-president and former Solidarity pro-democracy movement leader, says that he has Covid-19. The 78-year-old Nobel Peace Prize ... Read more »

Police play cat and mouse with would-be stowaways hoping to make it to Britain

It is the early hours of the morning, but this corner of Calais is busy, just as it always is. © Sky News Screen Grab French officers say the problem ... Read more »

Irish taoiseach looks to spring after lifting one of Europe's longest Covid clampdowns

© Provided by The Guardian Photograph: Brian Lawless/PA Ireland has ended what has been one of the longest and strictest set of coronavirus restrictions in Europe, with the end of ... Read more »

Oil Up for 5th Week; U.S. Stockpiles, Wall Street Rout Begin to Weigh

© Reuters Oil Up for 5th Week; U.S. Stockpiles, Wall Street Rout Begin to Weigh By Barani Krishnan Investing.com – Crude prices notched a fifth straight weekly win, but a ... Read more »

Virginia mother threatens to bring ‘every single gun loaded' to school over mask mandate

© Page County Public Schools Amelia King comment A Virginia mother has seemingly threatened to bring loaded guns to school during a heated comment about children wearing masks in school. ... Read more »

Covid news - live: Hundreds of cases of new Omicron sub-variant found in England as hotspots revealed

LIVE – Updated at 19:47 A sub-variant of the Omicron strain of Covid-19 has been formally designated as a “variant under investigation” by the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA). Some ... Read more »

British police granted extra time to quiz men over Texas synagogue stand-off

Detectives have been given extra time to question two men as part of the investigation into the Texas synagogue attack by British hostage-taker Malik Faisal Akram. The two men who ... Read more »

Relaxations announced by the Irish premier Micheal Martin

© Brian Lawless A sign in the window of Bar Rua in Dublin’s city centre. (Brian Lawless/PA) These are the changes of Covid restrictions which Irish premier Micheal Martin announced ... Read more »

Placido Domingo breaks silence over misconduct accusations, says he harassed no-one

© Reuters/SERGIO PEREZ Spanish tenor Domingo receives the “Honorary World Heritage Ambassador of Spain” award MADRID (Reuters) – Spanish opera star Placido Domingo addressed in a newspaper interview on Friday ... Read more »

Cricket-Hazlewood to return from injury for Sri Lanka series

© Reuters/DAVID GRAY Cricket – Australia v England – Ashes test match (Reuters) – Australia fast bowler Josh Hazlewood will be back in action for next month’s Twenty20 international series ... Read more »

This week's board game deals - save money with the best discounts in 2022

It doesn’t need to be sales season for good board game deals to appear. In fact, the best board games are often discounted with decent price cuts to be found ... Read more »

The highly amusing American reviews of royal-favourite hotel Claridge's

Claridge’s is about as posh as it gets. Home to Winston Churchill for a while, a favourite spot for royalty, and sometimes even called “an annexe to Buckingham Palace”, how ... Read more »

Wendy Williams Isn't Ready to Return to TV Amid Ongoing Health Issues and Rumors

Wendy Williams is still absent from her talk show as she faces ongoing health issues. Guest hosts, including Sherri Shepherd and Michael Rapaport, have been filling the purple chair on ... Read more »

Green Party's interim leader among hundreds in B.C. whose surgeries have been postponed

© Amita Kuttner Green Party of Canada interim leader Amita Kuttner pictured preparing for abdominal surgery at University of B.C. Hospital on Wednesday, before the operation was suddenly postponed due ... Read more »

Former Swansea City transfer guru links up with Steve Cooper at Nottingham Forest

Andy Scott has joined Nottingham Forest as head of scouting. The 49-year-old recently left his role as head of recruitment at Swansea City but had been determined to make a ... Read more »

Man charged for Delta flight disturbance after mooning fellow passengers

© Getty Images A Delta Airlines flight – Getty Images A passenger onboard a Delta Airlines flight from Dublin to New York JFK has been charged with assaulting cabin crew ... Read more »

Magazines see silver lining in COVID lockdowns: More glossies launched in 2021

COVID lockdowns apparently are good for at least one thing: all that extra time to spend flipping through a magazine — a down-and-out corner of the media industry that got ... Read more »

Have your say on Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel's first year in the Stamford Bridge hotseat

Thomas Tuchel discusses Romelu Lukaku's recent form and the unfair spotlight on the Belgian See more videos What to watch next Conte says Steven Bergwijn is 'a very important player' ... Read more »

TikTok owner Bytedance sees growth slow despite 70% jump in revenue

Beijing-based Bytedance, owner of popular video app TikTok, had total revenue rise 100% in 2020. Getty Images TikTok owner ByteDance saw its total revenue grow by 70% year on year ... Read more »

Avatar robot goes to school for German boy with severe lung disease

A seven-year-old schoolboy Joshua attends his school lesson via a robot avatar, seen in his classroom, in Berlin, Germany January 13, 2022. Reuters BERLIN, Jan 14 – Joshua Martinangeli, 7, ... Read more »

DOJ arrests Texas man over alleged threats to Georgia elections officials

4 people found frozen to death near U.S.-Canadian border See more videos What to watch next Jan. 6 committee reviewing Trump documents, draft of executive order on voting machines The ... Read more »

Ex-Giuliani associate Fruman sentenced to one year in prison in campaign finance case

© Reuters/GO NAKAMURA FILE PHOTO: Igor Fruman departs the United States Courthouse in Manhattan By Luc Cohen NEW YORK (Reuters) -Igor Fruman, who helped Donald Trump’s former personal lawyer Rudy ... Read more »

Rescue team searching for humpback whale trapped in debris off Hawaii

© (Bryant Anderson/NOAA via Associated Press, File) Rescue team searching for humpback whale trapped in debris off Hawaii Officials are searching for a humpback whale that was entangled in heavy-gauge ... Read more »

Mitch McConnell says he's offended by criticism and calls his remarks on African-American voters an 'inadvertent omission'

© Bill Clark/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell. Bill Clark/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images Mitch McConnell said “it’s nonsense” to call him out over ... Read more »

Dior reconstructs Paris in spectacular Fashion Week show

The Associated PressModels wear creations for the Dior fall-winter 22/23 men’s collection, in Paris, Friday, Jan. 21, 2022. (AP Photo/Michel Euler) PARIS — Dior took over Paris’ iconic Place de ... Read more »

US unveils changes to attract foreign science, tech students

The Biden administration on Friday announced policy changes to attract international students specializing in science, technology, engineering and math — part of the broader effort to make the U.S. economy ... Read more »

Frauen in der Mehrheit in Chiles künftiger Regierung

© Keystone/Agencia Uno/Karin Pozo/Agenciauno In der neuen chilenischen Regierung werden erstmals in der Geschichte des südamerikanischen Landes mehr Frauen als Männer sitzen. Dem Kabinett werden 14 Frauen und zehn Männer ... Read more »

Meat Loaf was reportedly anti-vaccine mandate before dying from COVID

The late rocker Meat Loaf was outspokenly anti-vaccine mandate and anti-mask before his COVID-related death —  once telling a reporter, “If I die, I die, but I’m not going to ... Read more »

Crystal Palace vs Liverpool live: How to watch, stream link, score, updates

Crystal Palace vs Liverpool live: Injuries and international call-ups will leave both the Eagles and the Reds shorthanded when they meet at Selhurst Park on Sunday (Watch live, 9 am ... Read more »

No Hillary — the 'Third Way' is the wrong way

© Getty Images No Hillary — the ‘Third Way’ is the wrong way Hillary Clinton, long an advocate of the “Third Way,” has recently urged Democrats not to go “too ... Read more »

NASA Mars rover dumps pesky pebbles that were clogging its sampling system

© Provided by CNET These pebbles interfered with the Perseverance rover’s ability to stow away a rock sample tube. NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS When Mars gives you pebbles, you give them back.  NASA’s ... Read more »

In photos: Russian military buildup near Ukraine's borders

New satellite photos show Russia’s military buildup near Ukraine as western nations fear a full invasion of the former Soviet state. © Satellite image ©2022 Maxar Technologies Closer view of ... Read more »

Live! UFC 270 Results & Play-By-Play!

© Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images UFC 270 live stream results and play-by-play updates will begin at 7 p.m. ET on Sat. night (Jan. 22, 2022) ... Read more »
On free-english-test.com you will find lots of free English exam practice materials to help you improve your English skills: grammar, listening, reading, writing, ielts, toeic