Powell to testify before Congress as Fed pauses rate cuts

Fed chairman will share his perspective two weeks after the bank cut interest rates for a third time this year.

Capitol Hill will be a busy place on Wednesday for politics as well as business.

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Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell is due to testify to Congress about the outlook for the U.S. economy.

Powell will share his perspective two weeks after the Fed cut interest rates for a third time this year.

The Fed signaled after its Oct. 29-30 meeting that it would probably hold off on any further cuts as long as the economy stays healthy and inflation moves closer to the central bank's target of 2 percent.

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Jerome Powell, President Donald Trump's nominee for chairman of the Federal Reserve, testifies during a Senate Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs Committee confirmation hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Nov. 28, 2017.

The three cuts, which lowered the interest rate the Fed controls to a range of 1.5 percent to 1.75 percent, were intended to offset drags from slower global growth and the U.S.-China trade war.

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The stock market has set a slew of records this year and President Trump in a speech to the Economic Club of New York on Monday, felt the market numbers would be even higher "if we had a Federal Reserve that worked with us."

Trump has expressed disappointment in Powell and the Fed for not lowering interest rates quicker.

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Powell and other Fed officials have said they believe the cuts are working, as lower borrowing costs have encouraged more Americans to buy homes and splurge on appliances and electronics.

Broader measures of the economy suggest that growth remains solid if not spectacular. The unemployment rate is near a 50-year low of 3.6 percent and hiring is strong enough to potentially push the rate even lower.

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Most analysts forecast that the Fed will hold rates steady when it meets next month. But some economists expect growth will slow in the coming months and the Fed will likely have to cut again next year.

The Associated Press contributed to this article.