Feb 3, 2023
Fed’s Daly Says December Dot Plot Still Good Signal for Rates
(Bloomberg) -- Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco President Mary Daly said officials’ December projections for interest rates were still a good signal of where borrowing costs are headed after an impressive jobs report Friday.
“The number today on the jobs report was a wow number,” Daly said Friday in an interview on Fox Business. The Fed’s December rate forecasts, which showed a median estimate of about 5.1% at the end of 2023, were “a good indicator of where policy is at least headed,” she added.
“Right now the most important thing to convey to listeners is that the direction for policy is for additional tightening and holding that restrictive stance for some time,” she said.
Daly, who is not a voter on this year’s rate-setting Federal Open Market Committee, is the first Fed official to speak after US central bankers met earlier this week and Chair Jerome Powell addressed the media on Wednesday in Washington.
Policymakers slowed the pace of rate increases again this week, raising their benchmark by a quarter percentage point to a range of 4.5% to 4.75%. The smaller move followed a half-point increase in December and four jumbo-sized 75 basis-point hikes prior to that.
Inflation prints in the last three months have shown a slowdown in price increases. But a blowout jobs report Friday indicated the labor market remained extremely tight in January. Payrolls rose by 517,000 last month and the unemployment rate dropped to 3.4%, a 53-year low.
Powell told reporters the central bank is committed to further tightening policy until inflation meaningfully comes down, something that’ll require a more broad cooling of demand across the economy. He said official expect to deliver a “couple” more rate increases and then hold them through the year, contradicting bets by investors that the Fed will begin cutting later in 2023.
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