Will Americans have to adapt to a “new normal” when it comes to the economy? Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell said Friday that he believes that to be the case.
Powell was speaking at a Fed Listens event in the nation’s capital, and he said the COVID pandemic is continuing to impact everyday life where commerce is concerned, even more than two years later.
“We continue to deal with an exceptionally unusual set of disruptions,” Powell said. “As policy makers we’re committed to using our tools to help see the economy through what has been a uniquely challenging period.”
So far, 2022 has seen the Federal Reserve increase the interest rate a number of times as they endeavor to slow the rise in inflation and halt the steady trudge towards recession.
Currently, inflation is at its highest rate since the 1980s, and as such, the Fed is undertaking its most aggressive maneuvers in 40 years.
Meanwhile, wages have remained relatively stagnant for much of the country’s workforce.
Speaking at the same event, Fed Vice Chair Lael Brainard lamented the segment of society that is hurting the most by the runaway rates.
“We have seen high wage growth among the lowest income workers but looking overall, wages haven’t kept up with inflation and inflation is very high,” she said. “If we look at who bears the burden, everybody is affected by high inflation but of course it puts special burdens on lower income families as well as on people with fixed incomes.”
Retail prices for Americans climbed 8.3% in the past 12 months.