New York Fed CEO John Williams sees no need to raise the interest rate unless economic growth or inflation rises to a high gear.

Joseph Corr

2019-02-28 12:39:00 Thu ET

New York Fed CEO John Williams sees no need to raise the interest rate unless economic growth or inflation rises to a high gear. After raising the interest rate 7 times since 2017 to 2.25%-2.5%, the Federal Reserve now keeps the economically neutral federal funds rate. This neutral interest rate helps restore healthy economic growth on the steady-state trajectory with low inflation when the economy operates near full employment. As of January 2019, the U.S. CPI inflation rate declines from 1.9% to 1.6% below the 2% target level as the U.S. unemployment rate continues to hover around the 3.7% historically low level.

As New York Fed CEO and Fed Vice Chair, Williams considers the current neutral interest rate to be in a good place. This monetary policy stance accords with the congressional dual mandate of price stability and maximum employment. After the most recent FOMC rate-hike holiday, Federal Reserve governors and presidents indicate their clear intention that it may be about time to end their 3-year drive to tighten monetary policy due to a cloudy U.S. economic outlook. This cloudy outlook arises from key complications such as the Sino-U.S. trade and government budget negotiations.

 


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