Federal Reserve chair Jerome Powell said that inflation was ‘certainly high’ before Vladimir Putin’s war in Ukraine, a frequent scapegoat the Biden administration uses for rate hikes.
‘Would you say that the war in Ukraine is the primary driver of inflation in America?’ Sen. Bill Hagerty, R-La., asked Powell. ‘No. Inflation was high before, certainly before the war in Ukraine broke out,’ the Fed chair said.
Russia is a major exporter of fuel and critical minerals used in electronics, Ukraine is a major exporter of wheat crops. Powell said it would be fair to blame Europe’s high inflation on its transition away from Russian oil and gas, but U.S. inflation rates were a more complicated supply and demand issue.
‘If you look at comparable large, advanced economies like ours, you’ll see inflation rates that are quite similar to ours and some cases higher or some cases lower … But there are important differences in the characteristics,’ he said. ‘Ours is more about demand. I would…