Fed policy markers’ comments over the weekend:
John Williams, President of the San Francisco Fed:
“Given the progress we’ve made and continue to make on our goals, I view the next appropriate step as gradually raising interest rates, most likely starting sometime later this year“. Global developments “definitely present significant challenges and risks, but overall I am quite positive about the outlook for the US economy”, he said.
Jeffrey M. Lacker, president of the Richmond Fed:
“It’s time to recognize the substantial progress that has been achieved and align rates accordingly”. “Further delay would be a departure from a pattern of behaviour that has served us well in the past. The historical record strongly suggests that such departures are risky and raise the likelihood of adverse outcomes”. “Such exceptionally low real interest rates are unlikely to be appropriate for an economy with persistently strong consumption growth and tightening labour markets”.
James Bullard, president of the St. Louis Fed:
“The Committee has not, in my view, provided a satisfactory answer,” to how near zero interest rates align with close to full employment and continued economic growth, Bullard said. “The case for policy normalization is quite strong,” Bullard said.