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Powell says economy can withstand Fed tightening, Omicron surge

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By Howard Schneider and Ann Saphir (Reuters) – The Federal Reserve’s plans to tighten monetary policy this year shouldn’t undercut strong employment in an economy that “no longer needs or wants” the massive stimulus the U.S. central bank has provided, Fed Chair Jerome Powell said on Tuesday. Powell, in testimony before the U.S. Senate Banking Committee, said he expected the country to power through the current surge in coronavirus cases, with any impact on the economy “short-lived” and likely not derailing Fed plans to raise interest rates and decrease its asset holdings this year. Powell told…

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