Dilemma For Fed Chief: High Inflation And A Surging Virus

FILE - Federal Reserve Board Chair Jerome Powell testifies before Senate Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs hearing to examine the Semiannual Monetary Policy Report to Congress, July 15, 2021, on Capitol Hill in Washington. Powell said Tuesday, Aug. 17, 2021 that the U.S. economy has been permanently changed by the COVID pandemic and it is important that the central bank adapt to those changes. “We're not simply going back to the economy that we had before the pandemic,” Powell said at a Fed virtual town hall for educators and students. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana, file)

(AP) — Not long ago, anticipation was high that Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell might begin to sketch out a plan this week for the Fed to start pulling back on its support for an economy that has been strengthening. That was before COVID-19 cases began accelerating across the country. Now, the decision of how the Fed should dial back its help for the economy has become a more complicated one. Yet in outlining his view of the economy and the threats it faces at a high-profile speech Friday, Powell may provide important clues to the timing of changes in the Fed’s ultra-low-interest rate policies.

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