WASHINGTON (AP) — Every sentence Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell speaks to Congress this week is sure to be parsed by investors who expect — and hope — the Fed will cut interest rates later this month for the first time in a decade.
Powell will testify for two days starting Wednesday at a time when the economic landscape is a mixed one: The U.S. job market appears resilient. Consumer spending and home sales look solid. But the economy is likely slowing. President Donald Trump's trade wars have magnified uncertainties. And inflation remains chronically below the Fed's target level.
Powell and the Fed have recently made clear they will do whatever they deem "appropriate" to sustain the economic expansion — a message that traders have interpreted to mean a coming rate cut.