Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell informed a Senate committee on Tuesday that “transitory” is a word that should be retired when talking about inflation as it suggests the phenomenon will be “short-lived.”
Asked about his use of the term transitory when speaking about inflation by Sen. Pat Toomey (R-Pennsylvania), Powell admitted the word’s actual definition may not exactly fit what he and others have been trying to get across to Americans dealing with record inflation and booming costs on everything from food to fuel.
“It carries a time, a sense of [being] short-lived,” Powell said of the word in question. “We tend to use it to mean that it won’t leave a permanent mark in the form of higher inflation. I think it’s probably a good time to retire that word and try to explain clearly what we mean.”
Stock markets took a hit following Powell’s remarks, with the Dow Jones, S&P, and Nasdaq indexes all tumbling by over 1%, which marked 500 and 200 points for the Dow Jones and Nasdaq.
Inflation hit a 30-year high in October, with consumer prices rising 6.2%, which had already followed months of rising costs and inflation over 5%, as reported by the Labor Department.
The Fed chair said because consumer market rates have continued to rise, it may be time for the Federal Reserve to change its strategy of bond purchases, meant to help the economy recover, though some have said the Fed’s economic meddling has only further contributed to a ballooning market.
“At this point, the economy is very strong and inflationary pressures are high and it is therefore appropriate, in my view, to consider wrapping up the taper of our asset purchases,” he said.