Jerome Powell, Trump's pick for Federal Reserve Chair, promises continuity

Jerome Powell speaks after US President Donald Trump announced his name for Chair of the Board of Governors of the Fed, at the White House on November 2. (EFE-EPA) Photograph:( Agencia EFE )

Agencia EFE Washington, DC, United States Nov 28, 2017, 12.36 PM (IST)

United States President Donald Trump's pick for the Federal Reserve Chair (Fed), Jerome Powell, Tuesday at the Senate will promise to continue with the strategy of current Fed Chair Janet Yellen as part of the gradual monetary adjustment.

Powell will appear Tuesday in the Senate confirmation hearing and the Fed already forwarded the speech he is expected to make.

"If confirmed, I would strive, along with my colleagues, to support the economy's continued progress toward full recovery," Powell said in the speech forwarded by the Fed.

"Our aim is to sustain a strong jobs market with inflation moving gradually up toward our target," he said.
Although he admitted that the financial system is certainly stronger and tougher than a decade ago, Powell is open to considering "appropriate ways to ease regulatory burdens while preserving core reforms."

Powell, 64, has been a member of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System since 2012 at the proposal of former President Barack Obama.

If voted, he will inherit an enviable economic situation, with the unemployment rate at 4.1 percent, levels unseen from 2001 and near full employment, along with an annual growth rate of more than 3 percent in the last two quarters.

The only shadow is persistent and low inflation which remains below the annual target of 2 percent marked by the Fed and does not rebound despite the good health of the world's leading economy.

In June, the Fed increased interest rates by a quarter of a percentage point in the range of between 1 and 1.25 percent for the fourth time since the financial crisis.

The Fed is expected to raise the price of money again during a meeting in Washington on December 12 and 13.

Powell will also inherit a Fed that initiates a process to gradually reduce the bulky balance of assets acquired to stimulate the economy after the financial crisis, which went from a trillion dollars in 2008 to $4.5 trillion at present.

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