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Powell says he can’t guarantee a ‘soft landing’ as the Fed looks to control inflation

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Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell warned Thursday that getting inflation under control could cause some economic pain but remains his top priority.

Powell said he couldn’t promise a so-called soft landing for the economy as the Fed raises interest rates to tamp down price increases running near their fastest pace in more than 40 years.

“So a soft landing is, is really just getting back to 2% inflation while keeping the labor market strong. And it’s quite challenging to accomplish that right now, for a couple of reasons,” the central bank chief said in an interview with Marketplace.

He noted that with a tight labor market pushing up wages, avoiding a recession that often follows aggressive policy tightening will be a challenge.

“So it will be challenging, it won’t be easy. No one here thinks that it will be easy,” he said. “Nonetheless, we think there are pathways, as you mentioned, for us to get there.”

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