Last week, Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell successfully walked back his October remark that jarred investors, but it's hardly the last challenge he'll face to communicating the road ahead.
In what was arguably his biggest test yet as Fed chief, Powell on Wednesday appeared to turn course from his initial stance that the central bank remains "a long way" from a neutral interest rate that would neither rev up nor hold back the economy. His comment, that the Fed Funds rate is near the range of expectations for the neutral rate from other policymakers, helped drive a powerful stock market surge.
However, the path forward doesn't get any easier — and Powell's primary challenge will be to avoid the missteps that helped drive a market correction that only reversed course after his speech. The Fed wants to keep normalizing policy, with will do so in the face of worries about an economic slowdown, and increasing pressure from President Donald Trump to keep rates low.