WASHINGTON (AP) — Federal Reserve officials will likely reduce their benchmark interest rate later this year, Chair Jerome Powell said, despite recent reports showing that the U.S. economy is still strong and that U.S. inflation picked up in January and February.

“The recent data do not … materially change the overall picture,” Powell said in a speech at Stanford University, “which continues to be one of solid growth, a strong but rebalancing labor market, and inflation moving down toward 2 percent on a sometimes bumpy path.”

Powell also sought to dispel any notion that the Fed’s interest-rate decisions might be affected by this year’s presidential election.