Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta President Raphael Bostic said that returning inflation to the central bank’s 2% goal is his priority, while stressing long economic expansions are especially helpful to disadvantaged workers.
(Bloomberg) — Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta President Raphael Bostic said that returning inflation to the central bank’s 2% goal is his priority, while stressing long economic expansions are especially helpful to disadvantaged workers.
“As for inflation, that is job one for now,” Bostic said Thursday at the New School’s Schwartz Center for Policy Research. “Across the economy and demographic groups, inflation is the force that is most painful and drives more people to precariousness.”
Fed officials, who have raised interest rates by more than 5 percentage points since March 2022, have signaled they’re inclined to hold policy steady next month after a recent run-up in bond yields tightened financial conditions. Policymakers are “proceeding carefully,” Fed Chair Jerome Powell said at a separate event Thursday.
Read more: Powell Signals Fed to Stay on Hold and Keep Future Hike on Table
Bostic, who has endorsed a suspension of rate hikes in prior appearances, didn’t comment on the current economy or current outlook for policy.
By running the economy hot in the years prior to the Covid-19 pandemic, the Fed was able to boost the fortunes of lower-income workers and minorities, Bostic said.
“Research tells us that long expansions disproportionately help traditionally marginalized workers,” he said, citing work by the Atlanta Fed’s Julie Hotchkiss. “When the economy cools, disadvantaged workers on average suffer the sharpest setbacks.”
–With assistance from Marien Lopez-Medina.
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