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Fed Chair Speech  
Released On 7/17/2018 10:00:00 AM For 7/17/2018 10:00:00 AM

Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell to deliver the semiannual monetary policy testimony before the Senate Banking Committee in Washington.

Jerome Powell isn't stepping into the fire, repeating in prepared comments that it's "difficult to predict" the economic effects of the administration's trade and fiscal policies. He is also repeating, however, that fiscal policy, specifically tax cuts and higher government spending, is likely to support economic growth.

On inflation, Powell is repeating comments from last week's radio interview that it is likely to stay near the Fed's 2-percent target for the next several years. The Fed chair notes that wage inflation is showing a little more pace than recent years. He believes interest rates are low enough to support growth, that business investment is growing at a healthy rate, and that the economy is solid with growth "considerably stronger" in the second quarter than the first. He is also repeating that gradual rate hikes are the best policy for the economy.

In questions and answers, Powell says trade is the business of Congress but he is noting that countries without trade barriers have generally done better than those with barriers. He also notes that concerns over trade could interrupt the recent uplift in wages.

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