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3/29/2017, 7:38 PM (Source: TeleTrader)
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Fed's Williams sees jobless rate at 4.5% by year-end

The Federal Reserve's dual mandate goals for employment and inflation are very close, and the "hard-sought recovery" has been "largely attained," said John Williams, president and chief executive of the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco. Speaking on Wednesday in New York, he stressed policymakers need to shift from achieving a sustained recovery to sustaining the recovery that was achieved. The unemployment rate may decrease slightly further and bottom out at 4.5% by the end of the year, the non-voting member of the Federal Open Market Committee stated.

Williams cited slow growth in potential and constraints on the supply side of the economy as headwinds for economic expansion. Monetary policy is limited, but decisionmakers in the areas of fiscal policy, state and local legislative actions, philanthropy, business investment and public-private partnerships can work on "priorities like education, training, safer and healthy neighborhoods, and infrastructure," the central banker noted.

He added the rate-setters' strategy is aimed at preventing the economy from overheating. "My own view is similar to most of my FOMC colleagues. I should note, however, that given my forecast, along with upside risks, I would not rule out more than three increases total for this year," the Fed official said and emphasized the steps must be gradual and slower than in earlier cycles.

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