Progress in US inflation fight 'has likely resumed': Fed official

Progress in US inflation fight 'has likely resumed': Fed official

Fed governor Christopher Waller said progress against inflation 'likely resumed' last month
Fed governor Christopher Waller said progress against inflation 'likely resumed' last month. Photo: Sarah Silbiger / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA/Getty Images via AFP/File
Source: AFP

Progress in the US Federal Reserve's fight against inflation "likely resumed" last month, a senior bank official said Tuesday, adding that additional rate hikes were probably unnecessary.

Consumer inflation ticked lower in April, providing Fed policymakers with some good news following an uptick in the first quarter that had led some officials to question whether to cut rates at all this year from their current two-decade highs.

"The inflation data for April suggests that progress toward two percent has likely resumed," Fed governor Christopher Waller told a conference in Washington, referring to the US central bank's long-term two percent target.

"One month does not constitute a trend, but this data suggests that policy is doing its job to moderate aggregate demand, which will support renewed progress in lowering inflation," added Waller, a permanent voting member on the Fed's rate-setting committee.

Read also

G7 push to use Russian assets for Ukraine 'vital and urgent': Yellen

"Central bankers should never say never, but the data suggests that inflation isn't accelerating, and I believe that further increases in the policy rate are probably unnecessary," he said.

Waller's more positive tone will likely be welcomed by the financial markets, which have been digesting a series of less positive outlooks from Fed officials since the inflationary uptick began.

On Monday, Fed vice chair for supervision Michael Barr -- another permanent member of the bank's rate-setting committee -- said that recent data had not given him the "increased confidence" he needed to support easing monetary policy.

Waller sounded a more optimistic note Tuesday -- but with some notable caveats.

"While the April inflation data represents progress, the amount of progress was small," he said, adding: "The economy now seems to be evolving closer to what the Committee expected."

"Nevertheless, in the absence of a significant weakening in the labor market, I need to see several more months of good inflation data before I would be comfortable supporting an easing in the stance of monetary policy," he said.

Source: AFP

Authors:
AFP avatar

AFP AFP text, photo, graphic, audio or video material shall not be published, broadcast, rewritten for broadcast or publication or redistributed directly or indirectly in any medium. AFP news material may not be stored in whole or in part in a computer or otherwise except for personal and non-commercial use. AFP will not be held liable for any delays, inaccuracies, errors or omissions in any AFP news material or in transmission or delivery of all or any part thereof or for any damages whatsoever. As a newswire service, AFP does not obtain releases from subjects, individuals, groups or entities contained in its photographs, videos, graphics or quoted in its texts. Further, no clearance is obtained from the owners of any trademarks or copyrighted materials whose marks and materials are included in AFP material. Therefore you will be solely responsible for obtaining any and all necessary releases from whatever individuals and/or entities necessary for any uses of AFP material.

Online view pixel