Jerome H Powell: Restoring price stability

Speech by Mr Jerome H Powell, Chair of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, at the "Policy Options for Sustainable and Inclusive Growth" 38th Annual Economic Policy Conference National Association for Business Economics, Washington DC, 21 March 2022.

The views expressed in this speech are those of the speaker and not the view of the BIS.

Central bank speech  | 
22 March 2022

Thank you for the opportunity to speak with you today.

Let me first pause to recognize the millions who are suffering the tragic consequences of Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

At the Federal Reserve, our monetary policy is guided by the dual mandate to promote maximum employment and stable prices. From that standpoint, the current picture is plain to see: The labor market is very strong, and inflation is much too high. My colleagues and I are acutely aware that high inflation imposes significant hardship, especially on those least able to meet the higher costs of essentials like food, housing, and transportation. There is an obvious need to move expeditiously to return the stance of monetary policy to a more neutral level, and then to move to more restrictive levels if that is what is required to restore price stability. We are committed to restoring price stability while preserving a strong labor market.

At our meeting that concluded last week, we took several steps in pursuit of these goals: We raised our policy interest rate for the first time since the start of the pandemic and said that we anticipate that ongoing rate increases will be appropriate to reach our objectives. We also said that we expect to begin reducing the size of our balance sheet at a coming meeting.