WASHINGTON (AP) — Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell says that the appearance of a new COVID-19 variant could slow the economy and hiring.

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He also says it raises uncertainty about inflation.

Powell says in remarks to be delivered to the Senate Banking Committee Tuesday that the recent increase in coronavirus cases and the emergence of the omicron variant pose downside risks to employment and economic activity and increased uncertainty for inflation.

He adds that the new variant could also worsen supply chain disruptions.

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