A key Fed banker says that more large interest-rate rises are on the way.
Federal Reserve governor Michelle Bowman says the U.S. central bank will likely follow two consecutive 0.75-percentage-point rate rises this summer with a third such increase at its September meeting.
The Fed official says she strongly supported the Fed’s 0.75-percentage-point rate increase last month and “similarly-sized increases should be on the table until we see inflation declining in a consistent, meaningful and lasting way,” she told the Kansas Bankers Association on Saturday.
She says that recent inflation data and hiring data will continue to guide her final decision on how high to raise rates at the Fed’s September 20 meeting. She expects the labor numbers to remain strong and said her current outlook sees economic growth picking up for the second half of the year.
Bowman warns that the Fed’s actions to bring down inflation with tighter monetary policy could slow job gains or increase unemployment, but she said the larger threat to the economy and labor market would be to allow excessive inflation to take root across the economy. “Our primary challenge is to get inflation under control,” says Bowman.
Last month the Labor Department reported that in June inflation continued to climb reaching 9.1%, measured by the consumer-price index. July’s data is set to be released this week.
Bowman said the recent inflation figure is “concerningly high,” and noted “few, if any, concrete indications” that support the expectation inflation has peaked. “I will need to see unambiguous evidence of this decline before I incorporate an easing of inflation pressures into my outlook,” she says.