Powell: The Federal Reserve is on track to cut rates this year as inflation eases and the economy is healthy

WASHINGTON (AP) — Chairman Jerome Powell said in an interview broadcast Sunday night that the Federal Reserve is on track. Interest rate should be reduced three times This year, the operation is expected to begin in early May.

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In a taped interview with the CBS news program „60 Minutes” on Thursday, he said the nation's job market and economy are strong, with no signs of a recession on the horizon.

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„I think the economy is in a good place, and there's every reason to think it's going to get better,” he said.

Powell's comments largely echoed his own Wednesday at a news conference, after the central bank decided to keep its key interest rate steady at around 5.4%, a 22-year high. To fight inflation, the central bank raised its benchmark rate 11 times from March 2022, making loans more expensive for consumers and businesses.

With the next meeting of the central bank scheduled for March, the chance of a rate cut is likely to be too soon, the central bank chief stressed. Most economists think the first cut could come in May or June.

Almost all 19 members of the central bank's policy-making committee agreed that cuts in the central bank's key interest rate would be appropriate this year, Powell said in an interview on „60 Minutes.” Lowering that rate can help lower the cost of mortgages, auto loans, credit cards and other consumer and business loans.

In December, central bank officials indicated they envisioned three rate cuts this year, lowering their benchmark rate to 4.6% by the end of the year. Powell told „60 Minutes” that the forecast will still reflect the views of policymakers.

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