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Fed’s Daly: We have two goals, one tool, and a lot of uncertainty

San Francisco Fed President Mary Daly, in a speech last night, discussed the ongoing challenges with inflation and the labor market. Daly remarked that the inconsistent inflation data this year has not built confidence. While recent figures are promising, it remains uncertain if the path to sustainable price stability is secure.

While, the labor market has been slow to adjust, with only a slight increase in the unemployment rate, Daly warned that “we are getting nearer to a point where that benign outcome could be less likely. ”

Emphasizing Fed’s situation with “two goals, one tool, and a lot of uncertainty,” and Daly stressed that “policy has to be conditional” and policymakers have to “think in scenarios.”

Daly outlined the possible policy responses to different economic scenarios. “If inflation turns out to fall more slowly than projected, then holding the federal funds rate higher for longer would be appropriate.”

Conversely, “If inflation falls rapidly, or the labor market softens more than expected, then lowering the policy rate would be necessary.”

Daly also addressed a middle-ground scenario, saying, “If we continue to see gradual declines in inflation and a slow rebalancing in the labor market, then we can normalize policy over time, as many expect.”

Full speech of Fed’s Daly here.

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