Powell is speaking this morning.
The newly re-appointed Fed Chairman will speak to the Senate at 10 am and it was going to be the same old, same old but, in his prepared remarks, he's got this warning about the economy:
"Pandemic-related supply and demand imbalances have contributed to notable price increases in some areas. Supply chain problems have made it difficult for producers to meet strong demand, particularly for goods. Increases in energy prices and rents are also pushing inflation upward. As a result, overall inflation is running well above our 2 percent longer-run goal, with the price index for personal consumption expenditures up 5 percent over the 12 months ending in October.
Most forecasters, including at the Fed, continue to expect that inflation will move down significantly over the next year as supply and demand imbalances abate. It is difficult to predict the persistence and effects of supply constraints, but it now appears that factors pushing inflation upward will linger well into next year. In addition, with the rapid improvement in the labor market, slack is diminishing, and wages are rising at a brisk pace.
We understand that high inflation imposes significant burdens, especially on those less able to meet the higher costs of essentials like food, housing, and transportation. We are committed to our price-stability goal. We will use our tools both to support the economy and a strong labor market and to prevent higher inflation from becoming entrenched.
The recent rise in Covid-19 cases and the emergence of the omicron variant pose downside risks to employment and economic activity and increased uncertainty for inflation. Greater concerns about the virus could reduce people’s willingness to work in person, which would slow progress in the labor market and intensify supply-chain disruptions.”
Meanwhile, Janet Yellen is calling on the Senate to quickly pass Biden's "Build Back Better" stimulus bill and warned (GOP) lawmakers they must soon raise the nation’s debt limit before the Treasury runs out of cash on Dec. 15th. “I cannot overstate how critical it is that Congress address this issue,” Yellen said of the debt limit. “If we do not, we will eviscerate our current recovery.”