Skip to content
Subscriber Only

Fed Seeks Economic Soft Landing, Rarely Seen in Wild: QuickTake

Video player cover image
What the Latest Fed Minutes Reveal About the Path of Policy
Updated on

Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell and his colleagues are embarking on a delicate task: They’re trying to use higher interest rates to bring down sky-high inflation without crashing the U.S. into a recession. The ideal result would be what economists call “a soft landing.” Steering the U.S. economy toward one has been made immeasurably harder by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and the aftershocks that’s triggered in global energy, commodity and financial markets.

In short, it describes the Fed’s main job these days: Slow the economy enough to curb demand and rein in decades-high inflation, but not so much as to trigger a contraction in gross domestic product and a rise in unemployment. Doing that takes a combination of smart policy making and luck.