Federal Reserve Chair Powell:

  • With economy strong, we feel we can approach rate cut timing question carefully
  • Confidence is rising, but want more confidence before taking 'very important step' of starting rate cuts
  • Making good progress on inflation
  • Could move sooner if we saw labor market weakness or inflation 'really persuasively' coming down
  • More persistent inflation could mean a later move
  • Repeats expectation that March meeting likely too soon to have confidence to start rate cuts
  • There is no 'easy, simple, obvious path'
  • Expects inflation will continue to move down in the first six months of this year due to base effects
  • Also expects 12-month inflation readings to fall over course of this year
  • Asked about policymaker forecasts in December for year-end rate policy level of 4.6%, says nothing since then leads me to think people would dramatically change forecasts
  • Almost all 19 policymakers see it appropriate to cut rates this year
  • We do not take politics into our decision making
  • In hindsight would have been better to tighten policy earlier
  • Doesn't see elevated possibility of recession
  • Doesn't see commercial real estate loans as the makings of a crisis as seen in the past
  • China problems unlikely to affect US economy, may feel some impacts 'a bit, but they shouldn't be large'
  • Geopolitical risks stand as largest near-term risks, but more for other parts of world than the US

I don't see much, if anything, new from Powell here. He is repeating what he has already said.


The interview was recorded February 1 and has just gone to air


S&P 500 futures on Globex update. With nothing much new does it open the door for a bid to emerge. Tha would be my bias from here but we'll see.

powell 60 minutes 05 February 2024 2