(Bloomberg) -- Here are the key takeaways from Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell’s remarks at Stanford’s Business, Government and Society Forum in California Wednesday:

  • Powell said the Fed has time to assess incoming data before starting interest rate cuts, which will likely come “at some point this year.” He said the strength of the economy gives the Fed flexibility.
  • He reiterated that recent inflation readings, which came in higher than expected, did not “materially change” the overall picture of cooling prices.
  • Wednesday’s speech and question-and-answer session at the university came just a few days after an event at the San Francisco Fed, where Powell made similar remarks.
  • Powell was careful to say that the Fed is not a political institution and doesn’t take things like elections into account when setting policy. He talked about how higher-than-estimated immigration probably helped drive growth last year, but said the Fed doesn’t make immigration policy. He made similar comments about climate policy.
  • Financial markets showed limited reaction, though two-year Treasury yields did hit their lows of the session after Powell spoke, dropping about 1 basis point. They were at 4.68% as of 1 p.m. in New York. Stocks stayed higher, with the S&P 500 up about 0.3%. Futures continued to show expectations for the first Fed rate cut most likely coming in July.

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--With assistance from Christopher Anstey.

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