Friday, August 25, 2023

"Powell Smacks Down Calls to Raise 2% Inflation Target: '2% Is and Will Remain our Inflation Target'”

From Wolf Street, August 25:

He fretted about the re-accelerating economy flying above the “below-trend” growth required to get to 2%. “We will keep at it until the job is done.” 

The most important aspect of Fed Chair Jerome Powell’s speech today at the Jackson Hole Symposium was his total and repeated smackdown of the folks that had either been clamoring for the Fed to raise its 2% inflation target, or had been predicting that it would raise it.

At the beginning of his longer and more nuanced speech today – and referring to his brief hammer speech last year – Powell said, “the message is the same: It is the Fed’s job to bring inflation down to our 2% goal, and we will do so.”

Amid discussing various inflation dynamics, the progress made so far, the lack of progress in some corners, and the uncertainties around it all, he showed this chart where Fed staff is forecasting that core PCE for July, to be announced on Aug 31, will re-accelerate:

And then he said: “2% is and will remain our inflation target. We are committed to achieving and sustaining a stance of monetary policy that is sufficiently restrictive to bring inflation down to that level over time.”....