Fed’s Collins says more rate hikes needed to curb ‘too high’ inflation By Reuters

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A shopping cart is seen in a supermarket in Manhattan, New York City, U.S., June 10, 2022. REUTERS/Andrew Kelly/File Photo

By Michael S. Derby

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Boston Federal Reserve President Susan Collins said on Friday more interest rate increases are needed to tame high levels of U.S. inflation.

“I anticipate further rate increases to reach a sufficiently restrictive level, and then holding there for some, perhaps extended, time,” Collins said in prepared remarks for a presentation to a University of Chicago Booth School of Business conference in New York.

“Inflation remains too high, and recent data – including several strong labor market indicators, as well as faster-than-expected retail sales and producer price inflation – all reinforce my view that we have more work to do, to bring inflation down to the 2% target,” Collins said.

Collins said she was “optimistic” the Fed could lower inflation without creating a “significant downturn” and added that she was “well aware of the many risks and uncertainties, including the risk of a self-fulfilling loss of business and consumer confidence.”

One of the U.S. central bank’s newest regional bank presidents, she is not a voting member of the rate-setting Federal Open Market Committee this year. Collins, who took over as Boston Fed chief in July, 2022, voted in favor of every one of the aggressive rate hikes the Fed delivered last year while she was a voting member of the FOMC.

Collins spoke after the release earlier on Friday of fresh data suggesting U.S. inflation pressures, which had been easing, may be more resilient than thought. The data suggested more Fed action will be needed, either in the form of more aggressive rate increases, a higher stopping point for rate increases, or a combination of both.

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