Biden will meet with the Fed chairman as inflation bites pocket wallets

WASHINGTON (AP) – President Joe Biden is set to meet with Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell.

Tuesday’s meeting will be the first since Biden reappointed Powell as head of the central bank and will take place a few weeks after his approval for a second term by the Senate.

The White House said the couple would discuss the state of the United States and the world economy, and especially inflation, which Biden called a “top economic priority.” The goal, the White House said, is “a transition from a historic economic recovery to stable, sustainable growth that works for working families.”

Inflation in the United States reached a 40-year high earlier this year amid supply chain constraints caused by the global economic recovery following the pandemic and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

But the economy was welcome on Friday as the Commerce Department said inflation rose 6.3% in April from a year earlier, the first slowdown since November 2020 and a sign that high prices may finally moderate. at least for now.

The inflation rate was below the four-decade high of 6.6% set in March. Although high inflation continues to cause difficulties for millions of households, any slowdown in price growth, if it persists, will bring some modest relief.

Powell has vowed to continue raising the Fed’s key short-term interest rate to cool the economy until inflation “goes down clearly and convincingly”. These rate hikes have raised fears that the Fed, in its quest to slow borrowing and spending, could push the economy into recession. This concern has caused a sharp drop in stock prices over the past two months, although markets strengthened last week.

Powell has signaled that the Fed is likely to raise its base rate by half a point in both June and July – twice the usual rate increase.

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