Biden to meet Fed Chairman as inflation bites pocketbooks
Washington (AFP) – President Joe Biden is set to meet with Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell as high inflation is killing Americans’ money.
Tuesday’s meeting will be the first since Powell reappointed Powell to lead the central bank and comes weeks after he was confirmed for a second term by the Senate.
The White House said the couple will discuss the state of the US and global economy and especially inflation, described as Biden’s “top economic priority.” The White House said the goal is “to move from a historic economic recovery to stable and steady growth that works for working families.”
Inflation in the United States hit a 40-year high earlier this year, amid supply chain constraints caused by the global economy’s recovery from the pandemic and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
But the economy saw some welcome data on Friday, with the Commerce Department saying inflation rose 6.3% in April from a year earlier, the first slowdown since November 2020 and a sign that higher prices may finally moderate, at least for now.
The inflation number was below a four-decade high of 6.6% recorded in March. While high inflation continues to cause hardships for millions of families, any slowdown in price increases, if it continues, will provide some modest relief.
Powell pledged to keep raising the Fed’s short-term interest rate to cool the economy until inflation drops in a clear and convincing way. These rate hikes have raised concerns that the Federal Reserve, in its quest to slow borrowing and spending, could push the economy into recession. This concern has caused sharp declines in stock prices in the past two months, despite the markets rebounding last week.
Powell indicated that the Fed will likely raise its benchmark rate by half a point in both June and July – twice the size of a normal rate increase.