The economy is growing at a healthy clip, and that has accelerated inflation, Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell says in written testimony to be delivered Tuesday at a congressional oversight hearing.
Still, Powell reiterated his view that inflation’s recent jump to a 13-year high would prove temporary.
“Inflation has increased notably in recent months,” Powell said in the prepared remarks. He blamed the rise on several factors, including sharp price declines last year at the onset of the pandemic, which make inflation figures now, compared with a year ago, look much larger. Higher gas prices, and rapid increases in consumer spending as the economy reopens, coupled with supply bottlenecks, have also contributed to rising costs.
“As these transitory supply effects abate, inflation is expected to drop back toward our longer-run goal,” Powell said, referring to the 2% inflation rate the Fed typically targets. Currently, however, the Fed is seeking to push inflation slightly above 2% to make up for the roughly nine years that it has come in below that level.