Powell Seeks to Support Economy, Defend Fed Independence

Federal Reserve governor Jerome Powell will strive to support the economy's continued progress toward full recovery and will defend the central bank's independence if confirmed as its next leader, he will tell a Senate panel Tuesday when it considers his nomination.

In prepared testimony released by the Fed on Monday, Mr. Powell said Fed officials continue to expect interest rates to rise "somewhat further" and the size of its balance sheet to shrink gradually.

As the next Fed chairman, Mr. Powell said he would "do everything in my power" to achieve the Fed's dual goals of maximum employment and price stability, "while preserving the Federal Reserve's independent and nonpartisan status that is so vital to their pursuit."

He also said the Fed would continue to consider appropriate ways to ease regulatory burdens on financial firms while preserving core regulatory changes implemented in the wake of the financial crisis.

"I am committed to making decisions objectively and based on the best available evidence," he said. "In doing so, I would be guided solely by our mandate from the Congress and the long-run interests of the American public."

President Donald Trump said Nov. 2 he intended to nominate Mr. Powell to succeed current Fed Chairwoman Janet Yellen, saying Mr. Powell had the "wisdom and leadership" to guide the economy through any potential turbulence.

Mr. Powell, who has served on the Fed board since 2012, is expected to face a relatively smooth path to confirmation. The Senate approved his nomination to the Fed board in 2012 and 2014 with broad bipartisan support, and no committee member has signaled plans to vote against him.

Write to Kate Davidson at kate.davidson@wsj.com

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

November 27, 2017 17:15 ET (22:15 GMT)