WASHINGTON -- Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell, fresh off winning Senate confirmation for a second term, 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 tipping the economy into recession.
But in an interview on NPR's "Marketplace," Powell conceded that that balancing act 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," Powell said.