Saturday, February 27, 2021

UK jobless rate highest since 2016; reopening hopes lift travel shares; tech stocks slide – business live


Rolling coverage of the latest economic and financial news

3.44pm GMT

Federal Reserve chair Jerome Powell is testifying to the Senate Finance Committee now, and maintaining a dovish approach.

He explains that the most important thing for the economy now is the Covid-19 vaccination programme.

“We don’t really see how a burst of fiscal support or spending that doesn’t last for many years would actually change those inflation dynamics”—Fed Chair Jerome Powell on fiscal relief and the persistent low inflation environment

On inflation, Powell tells @SenShelby that spending in the second half of the year could pick up and put some upward pressure on inflation

But that pressure isn’t likely to be large or sustained

Inflation dynamics “do change over time but they don’t change on a dime.”

3.11pm GMT

Just in: America’s top central banker has warned that inflation and employment remain well below the Federal Reserve’s goals.

In his prepared testimony to Congress, Fed chair Jerome Powell says it will probably take “some time” to achieve substantial progress on bringing inflation to target and lowering unemployment.

Despite a sharp rise this year in bond yields that has accompanied heightened concern over inflation, Powell said price pressures remain mostly muted and the economic outlook is still “highly uncertain.”

“The economy is a long way from our employment and inflation goals, and it is likely to take some time for substantial further progress to be achieved,” the Fed chief said in prepared remarks for the Senate Finance Committee.

“Following large declines in the spring, consumer prices partially rebounded over the rest of last year. However, for some of the sectors that have been most adversely affected by the pandemic, prices remain particularly soft,” he said.

“Overall, on a 12-month basis, inflation remains below our 2 percent longer-run objective.”

BREAKING: Powell says inflation is still ‘soft’ and the Fed is committed to current policy stance

Powell will also say: “While we should not underestimate the challenges we currently face, developments point to an improved outlook for later this year. In particular, ongoing progress in vaccinations should help speed the return to normal activities.”

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