The Federal Reserve should stop raising interest rates now because the economy is showing no signs of inflation surging and is expected to slow next year after the effects of fiscal stimulus wear off, St. Louis Fed President James Bullard said Friday.
“If it was just me I’d stand pat where we are and I’d try to react to data as it comes in,” Bullard told CNBC at an annual central bankers’ conference in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. “I just don’t see much inflation pressure.”
In a separate interview with CNBC, Cleveland Fed President Loretta Mester took the opposite view, saying she still thinks raising rates gradually is appropriate.
The Fed under Chair Jerome Powell has been raising rates and is expected to do so again when policymakers meet next month. He is due to speak on monetary policy later Friday.
Under the Fed’s rotating voting system for Fed regional bank presidents Bullard does not have a vote this year, but he participates in rate-setting discussions. Mester is a voting member of the Fed’s policy committee this year.
Bullard told Bloomberg TV in a separate interview that the Fed should not challenge the flat yield curve by raising rates, which could lead to short-term borrowing costs rising above long rates, a signal of recession.
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