Powell's comments tracked closely with those in his news conference last month after the Federal Reserve, the central bank of the U.S., cut rates for the third time this year and signalled it was likely done reducing borrowing costs absent a significant change in the economic outlook.
This conservative outlook has slowed economic growth. Historically, the Fed has cut its rate by about five percentage points in recessions. Powell upheld that message before lawmakers.
Sal Guatieri, a senior economist at BMO Economics, says Powell "stayed true to the patience script" by indicating that that the Fed's key policy rate is likely to remain unchanged for an extended period unless economic risks increase.
That conclusion, however, is not considered as clear-cut as it might have been when Powell worked on debt and deficit issues for the Bipartisan Policy Center think tank, before joining the USA central bank in 2012.
"The Fed thinks it is in the neighborhood of maximum employment". "It also may be that the neutral rate of interest is lower than we have been thinking and that therefore our policy is less accommodative than we have been thinking". In the 1960s and 1970s, inflation accelerated after presidents pressured the central bank to stimulate growth.
"The data is not sending any signal that the labor market is so hot or that inflation is moving up", he said in response to a question from New York Rep. Carolyn Maloney, a Democrat and vice chair of the Joint Economic Committee.
That view could influence policy decisions in the coming months.
At the core level, however, the rate of advance in CPI was more subdued, slipping from a 2.4% pace for September to 2.3% in October, and falling short of consensus forecasts for 2.4%.
Mr Powell also addressed why wages have not moved up with the unemployment rate at 3.6 per cent.
Powell also used the appearance to emphasize the central bank's freedom from the political process. "We won't make mistakes of character or integrity".
Speaking to Bloomberg Television on November 1, Fed Vice Chairman Richard Clarida said if the central bank saw "accumulating evidence" that it was missing on its mandate for maximum employment or stable prices, or the growth needed to sustain both goals, "we would have to factor that in".
"We are actively competing with nations who openly cut interest rates so that now many are actually getting paid when they pay off their loan, known as negative interest", Trump said.
"Give me some of that money". He said a slowdown in manufacturing was being offset by strong consumer spending. Business investment has been a net drag on gross domestic product for the last two quarters.
But with the U.S. expansion now in its 11th year, "in principle, there is no reason why it can't last".
Neel Kashkari, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, said in an interview on CNBC last week that "if the economy continues to perform as we expect" than the Fed is likely done cutting rates, "but we need to see".
He said it was prepared to respond to a "material reassessment" of its outlook, and the tone of his remarks suggests that downside risks for now outweigh the possibility of economic overheating.