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Powell tells senators further rate hikes may be appropriate

Federal Reserve chair Jerome Powell said that inflation was ‘certainly high’ before Vladimir Putin’s war in Ukraine, a frequent scapegoat the Biden administration uses for rate hikes. 

‘Would you say that the war in Ukraine is the primary driver of inflation in America?’ Sen. Bill Hagerty, R-La., asked Powell. ‘No. Inflation was high before, certainly before the war in Ukraine broke out,’ the Fed chair said.  

Russia is a major exporter of fuel and critical minerals used in electronics, Ukraine is a major exporter of wheat crops. Powell said it would be fair to blame Europe’s high inflation on its transition away from Russian oil and gas, but U.S. inflation rates were a more complicated supply and demand issue. 

‘If you look at comparable large, advanced economies like ours, you’ll…

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