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Rate hikes aren't completely ruled out, says Fed's Kashkari

Published 05/28/2024, 05:02 PM
Updated 05/28/2024, 11:18 PM
© Reuters

Neel Kashkari, President of the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, said Tuesday that the US central bank's policy stance remains restrictive, however, he added that policymakers have not completely dismissed the possibility of further interest-rate increases.

“I don’t think anybody has totally taken rate increases off the table,” Kashkari stated during an event in London. “I think the odds of us raising rates are quite low, but I don’t want to take anything off the table.”

Kashkari echoed the remarks he shared in an interview with CNBC earlier in the day, where he said that the Fed should wait for more substantial progress on inflation before considering interest rate cuts.

When asked about the conditions for rate cuts in 2024, Kashkari said, “Many more months of positive inflation data, I think, to give me confidence that it’s appropriate to dial back.”

The Fed official also didn't rule out further rate hikes if inflation persists, saying that the central bank shouldn’t rule anything out at this point.

U.S. inflation increased by 0.3% in April, slightly less than expected, offering some relief to policymakers, but it remained 3.4% higher compared to the previous year.

Kashkari remains confident that the Fed will eventually reach its 2% inflation target but stressed the importance of patience.

“I’m not seeing the need to hurry and do rate cuts, I think we should take our time and get it right,” he told CNBC.

He also mentioned that while the central bank might consider adjusting its target rate in the future, it was premature to “move the goal posts” at this time.

Earlier this month, Kashkari suggested that the Fed might need to keep interest rates steady for "an extended period"—potentially all year—to achieve its inflation goal.

Recently, there has been a growing divergence among major central banks on interest rate policies.

The Fed, which has historically been quick to adjust rates, is becoming more cautious amid persistent inflation.

In contrast, the European Central Bank is expected to lower rates ahead of the Fed, with key ECB officials supporting a June cut. Similarly, the Bank of England is anticipated to reduce rates this summer.

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