HomeLive CommentsFed's Barkin: Economy not ready for rate cuts despite expectations

Fed’s Barkin: Economy not ready for rate cuts despite expectations

Richmond Fed President Thomas Barkin highlighted the divergence between expectations and reality of US monetary in a speech today. He noted, “Most anticipated we would be cutting rates by now, either because we returned inflation to target, or perhaps because the economy took a turn for the worse. Yet, in contrast to the European Central Bank, that has not yet been the case.”

Barkin elaborated on the unique challenges facing the US economy, emphasizing that monetary policy operates with “long and variable lags.” He suggested that these lags might be longer than expected due to factors such as labor hoarding, excess savings, delayed exposure to interest rate hikes, and newfound pricing power among businesses.

Furthermore, Barkin raised the possibility that the Fed’s rate hikes might not be constraining the economy as much as anticipated. He pointed to the concept of r-star, the neutral real rate of interest, suggesting it might have shifted to a higher level. “It is too soon to tell, but there’s one way to find out: Proceed deliberately while keeping a close eye on the real economy. And that’s what I am doing,” Barkin stated.

Full speech of Fed’s Barkin here.

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