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Brainard says the Fed’s gradual timing depends on job progress

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July 30 (Reuters) – Federal Reserve Governor Lyle Brainard said on Friday the Federal Reserve needs to see more improvement in the pandemic-hit US labor market prior it backs away from supporting the economy, adding that it would be more confident in its judgment. Apply as soon as you have the September data in hand.


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“Determining when to start slowing asset purchases will depend heavily on accumulating evidence of further significant progress in employment,” Brainard said in comments prepared for delivery to Aspen Group Economic Strategies. “As of today, hiring still has some way to go.”

Earlier this week, Federal Reserve policymakers began tackling thorny questions about how quickly and how quickly they would decrease their $120 billion monthly asset purchases, boosting economic growth by putting pressure on borrowing costs.

Brainard’s assessment of labor market progress was in line with that of Fed Chair Jerome Powell, who said at the end of Wednesday’s Fed meeting that the US labor market still had “some ground to cover” prior the Fed began to deteriorate. . its purchases of bonds.

But Brainard also offered something unused: a conceivable hint about the timing of any downward decision, at fewest for her.

“Importantly, I expect to be more confident in assessing the rate of progress once we have data on hand for September, when consumption, school and average post-pandemic work patterns should stabilize,” Brainard said.

The US Department of Labor released its September jobs report in October. 8, the Fed’s next policy meeting following that will be held in beforetime November.

She said that if job gains continued at the alike pace as the second quarter, about half of the 9 million jobs gap relative to the pre-pandemic trend would be offset by the end of 2021.” She added that growth was set to accelerate significantly and those levels could be reached sooner. To some extent “.

In addition to hiring progress, the Fed’s gradual decision depends on progress toward the 2% federal inflation target.

Inflation readings in recent months have come in higher than expected, with the core PCE price index rising 3.5% in the 12 months through June, the largest acquire in the Fed’s preferred inflation measure since December 1991. It rose 3.4% in May.

Brainard said Friday that these higher readings are likely to be temporary because they reflect the imbalance between supply and demand in “a handful” of sectors such as autos and travel. It noted that over a 24-month period, the core PCE inflation rate was 2.3%.

She said that while she is concerned about the risks that upward inflationary pressures could widen or prove to persist, she sees no signs of merging into consumer and corporate inflation expectations.

“If inflation moves persistently and materially overhead our target, we will adjust policy to guide inflation gently towards the target,” she said.

However, concerns about the possibility of higher inflation, prompted many of the 18 policymakers at the Federal Reserve to want to move forward quickly with the process of gradual bond buying.

Earlier on Friday, St. Lewis Fed President James Bullard said the Fed should start reducing its bond purchases this fall so it doesn’t end up needing to hoist interest rates sharply, and possibly cause a recession, if inflation remains lofty.

Brainard’s comments did not indicate such a rush. She pointed out that the gradual tapering decision is distinct from any decision to hoist prices. It will depend on a three-part test the Fed put in place final fall: reaching packed employment, 2% inflation, and on track to surpass 2% inflation for some time.

“Continued attention to changing conditions and consistency in our gradual approach to implementing policy under our unused framework should ensure that the economy’s momentum is ample when tailwinds turn into headwinds” later this year and beyond, as support from massive government spending fades, she said. . (Reporting by Anne Sphere; Editing by Cynthia Osterman)

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