US Federal Reserve chair 'committed' to fighting inflation

The head of the US Federal Reserve says policymakers are doing all they can to bring inflation under control.

Jerome Powell made the remarks on Wednesday to members of the Senate Banking Committee as part of a two-day semiannual monetary policy report to Congress.

He said the Fed is highly attentive to inflation risks and determined to take the measures necessary to restore price stability.

Inflation in the US has reached 8.6 percent. Last week, the Fed responded by raising interest rates by three-quarters of a percentage point. That is the biggest hike in nearly three decades.

Powell said an "uncertain environment" is making the economy evolve in unexpected ways. The invasion of Ukraine has pushed up prices for oil, grain, and other commodities. Coronavirus lockdowns in China have also added kinks to the supply chain. Powell said policymakers must be nimble to respond to any further "surprises."

Some lawmakers expressed concern that rising interest rates will make borrowing costs too high and force companies to cut wages and workers. Others worried that policy changes could tip the economy into a recession.

Powell said that this is not the Fed's intention but admitted it is "certainly a possibility."