The Fed: Fed’s Barkin signals support for July interest-rate hike in range of 50bp-75bp

Another 50 or 75 basis-point interest-rate hike at the Federal Reserve’s next policy meeting in July “feels pretty reasonable,” said Richmond Fed President Tom Barkin on Tuesday.

“I’m pretty comfortable with what [Fed Chairman Jerome Powell] said in the press conference, which is we will be nimble, we will be data driven. We haven’t yet decided on what we’re going to do at the end of July,” Barkin said, during a conversation sponsored by the National Association for Business Economics.

“On the other hand, he gave a range that feels pretty reasonable to me in the spirit of trying to have markets work with us,” he added.

During his press conference last week, Powell said that either a 50bp or 75 bp increase in the Fed’s benchmark rate “seems most likely” at the upcoming meeting.

During the NABE discussion, Barkin called inflation “high, broad-based and persistent.”

At the same time, the central bank’s benchmark interest rate is still “well below normal,” he said.

“So I think the spirit is: you want to get back to where you want to go as fast as you can without breaking anything,” Barkin said.

The Richmond Fed President, who is not a voting member of the Fed’s interest-rate committee this year, said it is “totally understandable” that Americans are concerned about a possible recession.

“Sentiment is down, rates are rising,” and there are repeated outside shocks, he said.

On the other hand, “today the data still looks relatively healthy – tomorrow’s uncertain because of these signals,” Barkin said.

Higher interest rates should slow the economy somewhat. The Fed is going to have to slow down the economy, but the question remains by how much, he said.

U.S. stocks


were higher on Tuesday, after the indexes had sharp declines in the prior week. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note

rose almost 6bp to 3.29%.

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