WASHINGTON (AP) — Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell made clear that the Fed will begin raising interest rates this month in a high-stakes effort to restrain surging inflation.
In prepared testimony to a congressional committee, Powell cautioned that the economic consequences of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine are “highly uncertain.” He said the Fed will “need to be nimble” in responding to unexpected changes resulting from the war or the far-reaching sanctions that the United States and Europe have imposed in response.
The Fed is widely expected to raise its benchmark short-term interest rate several times this year beginning with its March 15-16 meeting.
The conflict in Ukraine has shaken the world energy market.
According to CNN, crude oil prices reached more than $110 per barrel on Wednesday.
President Joe Biden said Wednesday that "nothing is off the table" when asked about sanctions that could hit Russia's energy market. International allies have been reluctant to place sanctions on the Russian energy market due to rising prices that could hit their constituents.
Russia is reportedly the third-largest producer of oil in the world.