In a prepared text, Jerome Powell is repeating the message of the January FOMC statement: that inflation will likely move higher this year and hold near the Fed's 2 percent target. And Powell is underscoring that a series of gradual rate increases is in store. The new Fed chair said policy makers need to lift inflation but at the same time avoid overheating of the economy. He noted that wages should begin to increase at a faster pace and cited what he sees as a strong outlook for the economy including foreign demand for U.S. exports which he said is firming. Powell said that more stimulative fiscal policy will be good for growth. He downplayed the ongoing volatility of the stock market saying financial conditions remain supportive of the economy and are not weighing heavily on the outlook. Powell's appearance before the House Financial Services Committee begins later this morning at 10:00 a.m. ET.