June 4, 2019
The president of the St. Louis Federal Reserve became the first Fed official to publicly suggest a need to not only hold the line on interest rates, but also to start cutting them again. St. Louis Fed President James Bullard said the nation’s central bank may need to act to prop up inflation and counter downside economic risks from an escalating trade war.
“A downward policy rate adjustment may be warranted soon to help re-center inflation and inflation expectations at target, and also to provide some insurance in case of a sharper-than-expected slowdown,” Bullard said in remarks prepared for a talk in Chicago. “The direct effects of trade restrictions on the U.S. economy are relatively small, but the effects through global financial markets may be larger.”
Bullard votes on the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC), which sets the federal funds rate. The FOMC is scheduled to meet June 18.
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