Fed Chair Powell: Monetary policy likely to remain appropriate

The Fed Head stays on message when it comes to interest rates

Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell reiterated that interest rates will likely remain at current levels, based on the latest assessment of the U.S. economy.

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“We see the current stance of monetary policy as likely to remain appropriate as long as incoming information about the economy remains broadly consistent with our outlook of moderate economic growth, a strong labor market, and inflation near our symmetric 2 percent objective," he said while speaking at the Greater Providence Chamber of Commerce on Monday.

The Federal Reserve cut interest rates by a quarter-percentage point for the third time this year to cushion the economy against the U.S.-China trade dispute and a global growth slowdown but signaled that it was pressing pause on future easing.

He did stress if new data showed a change, the Fed could take action. "Policy is not on a preset course" he added.

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Powell's remarks mirror the Fed's latest minutes from the October meeting in which policymakers largely agreed during their two-day powwow that another interest rate cut is not warranted, so long as the economy remains on its current path of growth.

The Fed head did offer some fresh clues on inflation noting that the measure policymakers follow continues to run below the 2 percent target, creating a challenge for the U.S. Central Bank.

Additionally, he was more upbeat on the U.S. housing market with a favorable outlook. Data on future housing demand has signaled a pickup in recent weeks. Building permits for October jumped 5 percent to a 12-year high. Starts also saw a hearty jump of 3.8 percent, as reported by the Commerce Department.

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That sentiment is shared by the National Association of Homebuilders' Jerry Howard, who recently told FOX Business' "Varney & Co" that he's been all over the country and "builders are really, really gung ho" and recession talk earlier in the year is just not happening in the industry.

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Powell is making his way through part of New England on Monday, meeting with local leaders in Rhode Island and Connecticut amid sluggish growth in the region’s economy.

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FOX Business' Megan Henney contributed to this report.