Powell says policy is at an appropriate level

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Monetary policy is “appropriate” and in the range of the estimates of neutral, Federal Reserve Board Chair Jerome Powell said Wednesday.

“We think our policy stance is appropriate right now,” Powell said at a press conference in response to a question about whether policy was still accommodative. He said the fed funds rate is “in the range of the Committee’s estimate of neutral.

Data, he stressed, will guide future movements, responding to a question about use of the word adjustments rather than gradual rate increases in the post-meeting statement and if it meant that a cut is as likely to be the next move as a hike.

Powell said that hindsight will determine if this is a pause in hiking or the end of the increasing cycle, since data will determine future moves.

"Our only motivation is to do the right thing for the economy and the American people," he said.

The balance sheet has been discussed, but no decisions have been made, Powell noted, although he suggested a decision could be made "fairly soon."

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Monetary policy Jerome Powell Federal Reserve FOMC