In an interview Thursday, Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell gave an upbeat assessment of the economy, noting that unemployment is at its lowest point in nearly two decades and inflation is rising toward the Fed's optimal range.
The Federal Reserve is set Wednesday to modestly raise its key short-term interest rate for the second time this year. But attention will be focused on any hints the Fed might accelerate its hikes in the coming months.
Federal Reserve officials signaled rising confidence last month that a strong economy will lift inflation closer to its 2 percent target and that they may accelerate the Fed's pace of interest rate hikes as a result.
The Federal Reserve is raising its key interest rate and signaling confidence in the U.S. economy's durability but plans to continue a gradual approach to rate hikes for 2018 under its new chairman, Jerome Powell.
Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell told Congress on Tuesday that the outlook for the U.S. economy "remains strong" despite the recent stock market turbulence, keeping the central bank on track to gradually raise interest rates.
The turbulence coursing through markets has raised speculation that Fed officials might decide to slow their pace of rate increases out of fear of upsetting the markets and possibly harming the economy.