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Fed Chair Powell Wants Inflation to Cool More

Jerome H. Powell, the chair of the Federal Reserve, reiterated on Wednesday that the central bank can take its time before cutting interest rates as inflation fades and economic growth holds up.

The central bank chief also used a speech set for delivery at Stanford to emphasize the Fed’s independence from politics, a relevant message at a time when election season threatens to pull Fed policy into an uncomfortable limelight.

This year is a big one for the Fed: After long months of rapid inflation, price increases are finally coming down. That means that central bankers might soon be able to lower interest rates from their highest levels in two decades. The Fed raised rates to 5.3 percent between March 2022 and mid-2023 to cool the economy and bring inflation to heel.

Figuring out when and how much to cut interest rates is tricky, though. Inflation has decelerated more slowly in recent…

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