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MNI BRIEF: Williams Says FOMC Needs Positive Real Rates

(MNI) WASHINGTON

New York Fed president calls for restrictive policy to curb demand.

The Federal Reserve needs to get inflation-adjusted rates above zero in order to weaken demand in the economy enough to bring down inflation toward the Fed’s target, New York Fed President John Williams said Tuesday, adding he has still not decided whether a 50 bps or 75 bps rate hike will be appropriate at the September meeting.

“We do need to get real interest rates, that’s the interest rate adjusted for inflation, above zero. We need to have a somewhat restrictive policy to slow demand,” Williams said in a live interview with The Wall Street Journal. “So if you think next year inflation is say somewhere 2.5% to 3% -- that’s a lot lower than it is now but that’s a forecast that I think is reasonable, then you’re thinking about having interest rates well above that.” (See MNI INTERVIEW: Fed’s Harker Wants Rates Above 3.4% By Year-End)

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The Federal Reserve needs to get inflation-adjusted rates above zero in order to weaken demand in the economy enough to bring down inflation toward the Fed’s target, New York Fed President John Williams said Tuesday, adding he has still not decided whether a 50 bps or 75 bps rate hike will be appropriate at the September meeting.

“We do need to get real interest rates, that’s the interest rate adjusted for inflation, above zero. We need to have a somewhat restrictive policy to slow demand,” Williams said in a live interview with The Wall Street Journal. “So if you think next year inflation is say somewhere 2.5% to 3% -- that’s a lot lower than it is now but that’s a forecast that I think is reasonable, then you’re thinking about having interest rates well above that.” (See MNI INTERVIEW: Fed’s Harker Wants Rates Above 3.4% By Year-End)

Keep reading...Show less