CEO Morning Brief

Fed’s Williams Says Economy Strong, Needs More Data for Rate Cut

edgeinvest
Publish date: Wed, 19 Jun 2024, 10:02 PM
TheEdge CEO Morning Brief
Federal Reserve Bank of New York President John Williams said the US economy is 'moving in the right direction' but declined to say when he would favour an interest-rate decrease.

(June 18): Federal Reserve Bank of New York President John Williams said the US economy is “moving in the right direction” but declined to say when he would favour an interest-rate decrease.

Williams emphasised any decisions regarding the timing or extent of easing policy this year would depend on incoming economic data. Recent inflation figures have been encouraging, he said, and expects price pressures to keep abating.

“There are very good signs of supply and demand coming into balance,” Williams said Tuesday during an interview with Fox Business. “I do see a disinflationary process continuing and I expect inflation to keep coming down the second half of this year and next year.”

The New York Fed chief described the US economy and labour market as strong, though noted some slowing in hiring.

Referring to jobs data that have continued to be very strong in surveys of businesses, despite signs of weakness in figures gathered from households, Williams said payroll reports “might be a bit overstated”. The Fed will learn more about that in the coming months, he said.

Fed officials lowered their outlook for how much they plan to cut rates this year, with the median official projecting only one decrease, according to forecasts released last week. Policymakers also left their benchmark rate steady in a target range of 5.25% to 5.5%, a two-decade high reached last July.

Williams said last month there was “ample evidence” the Fed’s current policy setting is weighing on the economy, and he expected inflation to keep cooling in the second half of this year.

The New York Fed chief also deflected a question about whether the Fed can cut rates this fall without opening the central bank to accusations of political favouritism.

“The most important thing to do is to get the decision right,” he said, and to “ignore the politics”.

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Source: TheEdge - 19 Jun 2024

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