WASHINGTON (AP) — Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell, fresh off winning Senate confirmation for a second term earlier in the day, acknowledged for the first time Thursday that high inflation and economic weakness overseas could thwart his efforts to avoid causing a recession.
For weeks, Powell has portrayed the Fed’s drive to raise interest rates as consistent with a so-called “soft landing” for the economy. Under that scenario, the Fed would manage to tighten borrowing costs enough to cool the economy and curb inflation without going so far as to tip the economy into recession.
But in an interview on NPR’s “Marketplace,” Powell conceded that that balancing act — which many economists have said they doubt the Fed can achieve — could be undercut by economic slowdowns in Europe and China.
“The question whether we can execute a soft landing or not — it may actually depend on factors that we don’t control,”…