Investors hoping for dovish comments from Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell Friday were disappointed. Instead, Powell mentioned “pain” twice when predicting the future of the US economy.
“While higher interest rates, slower growth, and softer labor market conditions will bring down inflation, they will also bring some pain to households and businesses,” Powell said. “These are the unfortunate costs of reducing inflation. But a failure to restore price stability would mean far greater pain.”
Powell hinted the Fed will continue its historic pace of rate hikes for the foreseeable future until it can return inflation to normal levels.
“We are taking forceful and rapid steps to moderate demand so that it comes into better alignment with supply, and to keep inflation expectations anchored,” he said. “We will keep at it until we are confident the job is done.”
Stocks danced around, dipping, then rising, then falling again as Wall Street digested Powell’s comments.
The Dow was last down 80 points, or 0.2%.
The S&P 500 fell 0.3%.
The Nasdaq fell 0.4%.