U.S. Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell has signaled that the central bank will slow the pace of interest-rate increases next month, while stressing that borrowing costs will need to keep rising and remain restrictive for some time to beat inflation.

His comments, in a speech Wednesday at the Brookings Institution in Washington, likely cement expectations for the Fed to raise interest rates by 50 basis points when they meet Dec. 13 and 14, following four straight 75-basis-point moves.

"The time for moderating the pace of rate increases may come as soon as the December meeting,” Powell said in the text of his speech. "Given our progress in tightening policy, the timing of that moderation is far less significant than the questions of how much further we will need to raise rates to control inflation, and the length of time it will be necessary to hold policy at a restrictive level.”