Fed’s Barkin: No strong case to move rates lower when growth remains healthy

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In remarks prepared for delivery before the New York Association of Business Economists in Manhattan, Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond President Thomas Barkin said that it made sense for the Fed to remain patient on the rater outlook given the current U.S. economic climate. 

Key quotes (via Reuters)

  • There is not a strong case to push rates higher when inflation is under control.
  • There is not a strong case to move rates lower when growth remains healthy.
  • Labor market remains strong; sees continued growth this year.
  • Inflation is running a little below our target, possibly due to transitory factors.
  • U.S. economic data look relatively healthy after sentiment shock late last year.
  • Highly indebted companies have a bias to react to negative news by cutting costs and reducing staff.
  • Does not discount the idea ‘that we could talk ourselves into a recession’.
  • Fed might want to simplify communications tools, such as its dot plot.
  • Business contacts say the economy is sound but not spectacular, but business confidence is fragile.
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