JACKSON HOLE, Wyoming (AP) — The continued strength of the U.S. economy could require further interest rate increases, Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell said in a closely watched speech that also highlighted the uncertain nature of the economic outlook.

Powell noted that the economy has been growing faster than expected this year and that consumers have kept spending briskly — trends that could keep inflation pressures high.

He also reiterated the Fed’s determination to keep its key rate elevated until price increases are reduced to the central bank’s 2% target.

“We are prepared to raise rates further if appropriate and intend to hold policy at a restrictive level until we are confident that inflation is moving sustainably down toward our objective,” the Fed chair said.

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