By Max Keating
Neel Kashkari, president of the Minneapolis Federal Reserve, poured cold water on optimism that the Fed could rein in inflation and begin lowering interest rates by 2023 during an appearance on CBS News’ Face the Nation Sunday.
Bond market prices imply that following consecutive interest rate hikes of 0.75% in June and July — the largest two month-increase in thirty years — investors expect the Federal Reserve to get inflation under control and begin lowering interest rates sometime next year, according to The New York Times. But Kashkari said that such hopes are premature, suggesting that investors’ predictions for near-term rate decreases is misguided since inflation is stubbornly persisting.
“We are committed to bringing inflation down and we’re going to do what we need to do. And we’re a long way away from achieving an economy that is back at 2% inflation and that’s where we need to get to,” Kashkari said on Face the Nation.
Kashkari also told the NYT that he doesn’t “know what the bond market is looking at” to determine that rates would come down in 2023, adding that the bar would be “very, very high” to lower rates.
“It’s very concerning,” Neel Kashkari, Pres. and CEO of the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, says on inflation.
“We keep getting inflation readings…and we keep getting surprised. It’s higher than we expect.” pic.twitter.com/bz45lyzb8G
— Face The Nation (@FaceTheNation) July 31, 2022
This is in part due to the fact that interest rates will likely have to come up considerably more to adequately tackle inflation, according to E.J. Antoni, research fellow for regional economics at the Heritage Foundation.
“The last time inflation was this high, the federal funds rate was over 13%,” Antoni previously told the Daily Caller News Foundation, noting that that’s a marked contrast from the 2.25% to 2.50% that it is currently at.
Last week’s interest rate hike was the latest development in the Fed’s campaign to lessen demand in the economy and ultimately bring down prices. But Kashkari doesn’t see many encouraging signs that such steps have begun to work and the Fed can begin to ease off. (RELATED: ‘It’s An Absurd Argument’: Economists Take Apart One Of Biden’s Favorite Talking Points)
“It’s very concerning, you know, we keep getting inflation readings, new data that comes in, and as recently as this past week, and we keep getting surprised. It’s higher than we expect. And it’s not just a few categories,” Kashkari said. “It’s spreading out more broadly, across the economy. And that’s why the Federal Reserve is acting with such urgency to get it under control and bring it back down.”