Fed mulls bigger rate hikes to cool US economy

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Washington (AFP) – The United States is prepared to speed up interest rate hikes –- and could raise them higher than anticipated — if needed to cool inflation and a strong jobs market, Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell said Tuesday. An “unseasonably warm” January across much of the country was likely behind the robust employment, consumer spending, manufacturing and inflation figures, which pointed to a partial reversal of earlier softening trends, Powell told the Senate Banking Committee.  “If the totality of the data were to indicate that faster tightening is warranted, we would be prepar…

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