Podcast: Powell Artfully Dodges Questions on Trade and Fiscal Policy

The new Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome “Jay” Powell is more plainspoken than his predecessor, Janet Yellen. During the press conference following his first meeting at the head of the table, he spent less time and offered fewer details when answering reporters’ questions by repeating a mantra: The Fed’s mandate is to work for stable inflation and full employment. He pointed to a range of views among his fellow policy makers and underlined the uncertainty inherent in even medium-term economic forecasts.

Despite the difference in style, Powell also emphasized continuity by reiterating that the Federal Reserve will gradually remove economic stimulus in the form of lower interest rates and its purchases of Treasury bonds. The Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) voted to raise short-term interest rates 0.25% as widely expected in the financial markets.

In this podcast Grant Thornton’s Chief Economist, Diane Swonk, discusses the outlook for interest rates and the broader U.S. economy.

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About the author
Diane Swonk Diane Swonk
Chief economist
Twitter: @DianeSwonk

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