Powell bullish on economy, expects rates to keep rising

Martin Crutsinger
Associated Press

Washington – Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell is giving lawmakers an upbeat assessment of the economy and expects to keep raising interest rates gradually. He says solid job gains and strong economic growth has enabled the Fed to dial back the “extra boost” it implemented during the financial crisis and recession.

In his semi-annual testimony to Congress, Powell says that the Fed’s process for slowly raising interest rates has been “running smoothly.” He says the Fed expects the job market to remain strong and inflation to stay near 2 percent over the next several years.

Among the uncertainties that could alter his forecast, Powell says that it is “difficult to predict the ultimate outcome of current discussions over trade policy.”