The Lead Matt Egan Phil Mattingly_00030908.png
The Federal Reserve warns of impending job losses as rise in inflation slows
05:13 - Source: CNN
Minneapolis CNN  — 

America’s central bank found itself in a glaring spotlight for much of this past year, as Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell wielded blunt tools of interest rate hikes and quantitative tightening to curb surging inflation.

As 2022 draws to a close, inflation metrics show some of that may have worked: Consumer prices are cooling, home sales have ground to a halt, and some of America’s best-known companies have made plans to slow their roll and pull back on capital investment.

The latest measure of inflation showed that the Consumer Price Index for November came in at 7.1%, down from the 40-year high of 9.1% hit in June; prices for used cars, lumber and gas — once poster children for the painfully steep price hikes — have come down; and housing prices and rents have also been on a downward trajectory.

“This idea of peak inflation, which people have been talking about for most of the year, is starting to look like it’s valid,” said Thomas Martin, senior portfolio manager at Globalt Investments. “It’s just how quickly does that come down?”

Federal Reserve Board Chairman Jerome Powell attends a news conference following a two-day meeting of the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) in Washington, July 27, 2022.

In a matter of weeks, the Fed’s Act II gets underway.

The Fed’s recently revised script calls for the federal funds rate, the central bank’s benchmark borrowing rate, to move higher, but at a slower pace than in the past several months.

While the Fed has — finally — eked out some small victories in slowin