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Richmond Fed Pres. Barkin (2021 FOMC voter) in a media Q&A (quoted by Rtrs and BBG) sounding a cautious tone on pulling the trigger on further FOMC easing.
- In sum, Barkin said he sees the existing level of Fed asset purchases as providing pretty strong stimulus, while extending the duration of purchases was an option if they decide they need to do more. His language on asset purchases being "strong" for now echoes previous comments.
- On the outlook, he said that while COVID cases are surging and gov't benefits are expiring, that there is a vaccine coming that could improve medium-term fortunes, and households have plenty of savings to spend, so "let's see what happens" (when asked if the Fed needed to act).
- He added that despite the COVID spike it is "hard to find a huge drop in the real-time data" for consumption and other areas of the economy. This appears to be an indication that Barkin believes that the case for an imminent Fed move was inconclusive.
- He also noted that the end of several Fed/Tsy programs at the end of the year was a risk to the outlook, but that it was uncertain whether any particular backstop will be needed.