Citing robust growth and a generational low in unemployment, Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell emphasized the central bank's commitment to further interest rate hikes in a speech Wednesday.
Economic gains are negating the need for crisis-era monetary policy, the Fed leader told a European Central Bank forum.
"Earlier in the expansion, as the economy recovered, the need for highly accommodative monetary policy was clear," Powell said, according to prepared remarks. "But with unemployment low and expected to decline further, inflation close to our objective, and the risks to the outlook roughly balanced, the case for continued gradual increases in the federal funds rate is strong."
His remarks came a week after the policymaking Federal Open Market Committee voted to raise rates 0.25 percentage point. It was the sixth such increase since the Fed began normalizing policy in December 2015 after seven years of keeping its benchmark rate target anchored near zero as the economy recovered from the financial crisis.