Fed’s Powell: Strong Hiring Could Force Further Rate Hikes

WASHINGTON (AP) – Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell said Tuesday that if the job market further strengthens in the coming months or inflation readings accelerate, the Fed might have to raise its benchmark interest rate higher than it now projects.

Powell’s remarks followed the government’s blockbuster report last week that employers added 517,000 jobs in January, almost double the previous month’s total.

The unemployment rate fell to the lowest level in 53 years, to 3.4%.

Powell made his remarks in an appearance at the Economic Club of Washington.

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