Answering a reporter's question about recent data showing rapidly rising rising prices, Powell said inflation was higher than expected.
"But," he added, "essentially, all of the overshoot can be tied to a handful of categories. It isn't the kind of inflation that's spread broadly across the economy."
Powell singled out new, used, and rental cars, airline tickets and hotel bookings and others as key drivers of the jump.
"And each of those has a story attached to it that is really about the re-opening of the economy," he said.
The news conference followed the release of a Federal Reserve policy statement, which said the U.S. economic recovery remains on track despite a rise in coronavirus infections.
The central bank kept its overnight benchmark interest rate near zero along with leaving the bond-buying program unchanged.