Fed officials 'of a mind' to raise rates in March -Powell

Officials are "of a mind" to raise rates at the March 15-16 meeting, Powell said at a news conference following the release of the Fed's latest policy statement, which signaled the Fed is preparing soon to raise interest rates from near zero.

While officials have an "eye" on risks around the world, including the surge in coronavirus infections from the Omicron variant, Powell said policymakers expect any headwinds to be short-lived and for the economy to hold up well.

Powell also said Fed officials will discuss plans for reducing the central bank's nearly $9 trillion balance sheet at their next two meetings, adding he expects there to be a "substantial" amount of shrinkage in the Fed's bond holdings.

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