Fed’s Powell talks 25bps hike in March, ‘highly uncertain’ economic effects of Russia-Ukraine crisis

Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell said he supports a traditional 25-basis-point rate hike during the March 15-16 policy meeting.

The big concern for the U.S. central bank going forward will be the economic effects of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and the unintended consequences of sanctions.

In a rare move, Powell gave an overview of the upcoming March meeting: “Coming into this meeting, let’s say before the Ukraine invasion, the committee was set to raise our policy rate. The first of what was to be a series of raises expected for this year. Every meeting was live. Decisions would be based on incoming data and evolving outlook. I also expected we would make great progress on our plan to begin to shrink the balance sheet. The question now really is, how the invasion of Ukraine, the ongoing war, the response from nations around the world, including sanctions, might have changed that expectation,” Powell told U.S. lawmakers.
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