Fed's Powell: Inflation needs more attention now

In opening testimony to the Senate Banking Committee, Powell said the economy's fast-paced recovery from the coronavirus pandemic was "giving rise to persistent supply and demand imbalances and bottlenecks, and thus to elevated inflation."

"We know that high inflation exacts a toll," he added, pledging to use the central bank's full suite of policy tools "to prevent higher inflation from becoming entrenched."

Powell also said the Fed needs to focus more on high inflation now than on full employment as it gauges which of its two mandates is more pressing.

"I'd say now it's inflation" that requires more attention from policymakers, Powell said in response to a senator's question during his renomination confirmation hearing.

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