Fed’s Harker sees ‘lack of progress’ on inflation, expects aggressive rate hikes ahead

Fed’s Harker sees ‘lack of progress’ on inflation, expects aggressive rate hikes ahead

Philadelphia Federal Reserve President Patrick Harker said Thursday that higher interest rates have done little to keep inflation in check, so more increases will be needed.

“We̵[ads1]7;re going to keep raising interest rates for a while,” the central bank official said in a speech in New Jersey. “Given our frankly disappointing lack of progress in curbing inflation, I expect we will be well above 4% by the end of the year.”

The last comment was in reference to the fed funds rate, which is currently targeted in a range between 3%-3.75%.

Markets generally expect the Fed to approve a fourth consecutive 0.75 percentage point rate hike in early November, followed by another in December. The expectation is that the Federal Open Market Committee, of which Harker is a non-voting member this year, will then take rates slightly higher in 2023 before settling in a range of around 4.5%-4.75%.

Harker indicated that the higher prices are likely to remain in place for a longer period.

“Sometime next year we’re going to stop raising interest rates. At that point, I think we should keep interest rates restrictive for a while to let monetary policy do its job,” he said. “It will take some time for the higher capital costs to work their way through the economy. After that, if we have to, we can tighten further, based on the data.”

Inflation is currently around the highest level in more than 40 years.

According to the Fed’s preferred gauge, headline personal consumption expenditure inflation is 6.2% annually, while core inflation, excluding food and energy prices, is at 4.9%, both well above the central bank’s target of 2%.

“Inflation will come down, but it will take some time to reach our target,” Harker said.

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