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Powell Hardens Hawkish Pivot Toward Half-Point Fed Rate Hikes

  • Notes many officials saw need for one or more half-point moves
  • Cites ‘front-end loading’ of policy tightening to cool economy
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WATCH: Powell says he sees merit in the argument for front-loading interest-rate increases.Source: Bloomberg
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Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell outlined his most aggressive approach to taming inflation to date, potentially endorsing two or more half percentage-point interest-rate increases while describing the labor market as overheated.

“I would say that 50 basis points will be on the table for the May meeting,” Powell said at an IMF-hosted panel on Thursday in Washington that he shared with European Central Bank President Christine Lagarde and other officials. He said demand for workers is “too hot -- you know, it is unsustainably hot.”