Federal Reserve Bank of Boston President Susan Collins said officials are taking a more patient approach to monetary policy now that rates are at or near their peak, though further rate increases are still possible.
(Bloomberg) — Federal Reserve Bank of Boston President Susan Collins said officials are taking a more patient approach to monetary policy now that rates are at or near their peak, though further rate increases are still possible.
US central bankers can take more time to evaluate incoming economic data because they “are likely close to, and possibly at, the peak of this tightening cycle,” Collins said Wednesday in remarks prepared for an event at Wellesley College in Massachusetts.
However, “further tightening could be warranted depending on incoming information,” the Boston Fed chief said.
Fed officials left their benchmark lending rate unchanged last month in a range of 5.25% to 5.5% — a 22-year high — and signaled they expect one more increase this year. Projections released at the meeting also showed policymakers expect fewer rate cuts next year than they did in June.
Collins, who does not vote in rate decisions this year, said she expects policymakers will need to “hold rates at restrictive levels for some time” and until officials see evidence that inflation is sustainably on a path to 2%.
Read More: Fed Minutes Flag High Rates for ‘Some Time’ While Risks Shift
She also said that high inflation risks were becoming more “balanced” with the risk that officials slow activity more than needed to cool inflation.
It may take longer for higher rates to hit some parts of the economy because many households and corporations built up cash piles, in part after locking in low rates early in the pandemic, according to Collins.
“These factors have likely made the economy less interest sensitive than during past tightening cycles,” she said.
Collins, who does not vote in rate decisions this year, said last month that further tightening was possible and that rates may need to stay higher for longer than previously expected for the US central bank to achieve its 2% inflation goal.
Several Fed officials have said in recent days that a surge in long-term Treasury yields may lessen the need for further rate hikes. Investors see a less than 20% chance of another quarter-point increase when policymakers next meet, according to pricing in futures markets.
Collins’s remarks did not address how the rise in Treasury yields could affect monetary policy.
(Updates with Collins’ comments on inflation risk, and to reflect that she didn’t comment on bond yields.)
More stories like this are available on bloomberg.com
©2023 Bloomberg L.P.