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US economy still needs ‘multiple’ rate hikes, says top Fed official

A senior official at the Federal Reserve is calling for
Al Drago/Bloomberg/Getty Images
A senior official at the Federal Reserve is calling for "multiple" rate hikes.

By Matt Egan, CNN

New York (CNN) — A senior official at the Federal Reserve is pushing back against growing hopes on Wall Street that the central bank could be nearly done raising interest rates.

In a pair of speeches on Saturday and on Monday, Fed Governor Michelle Bowman warned that multiple rate hikes could be required to get inflation back to healthy levels.

“We have made progress in lowering inflation over the past year, but inflation is still significantly above” the Fed’s 2% target, Bowman said on Monday at an event in Atlanta.

Bowman, one of the more hawkish members of the Fed’s rate-setting committee, highlighted that the job market “continues to be tight, with job openings still far exceeding the number of available workers.”

“Given these developments, I supported raising the federal funds rate at our July meeting, and I expect that additional increases will likely be needed to lower inflation to the FOMC’s goal,” Bowman said.

The Fed governor made similar comments in a speech on Saturday in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

By contrast, many investors and some leading economists have been predicting the Fed will raise interest rates just one more time, or perhaps none.

After Friday’s “Goldilocks” jobs report — which showed hiring in July wasn’t too hot, but also not too cold — Goldman Sachs economists wrote in a note to clients that they continue to anticipate the Fed will “decide that a final hike is unnecessary” due to cooling inflation.

“We expect the decline in core inflation to more than outweigh the mid-year resilience in growth and wage data,” Goldman Sachs economists wrote on Friday.

The futures market is pricing in a 71% chance that at the end of the year, interest rates will either be where they are today or lower, according to CME Group’s FedWatch Tool.

Investors are pricing in a 26% chance of one quarter-point rate hike through the end of the year and just a 2.5% chance of multiple hikes.

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Article Topic Follows: Economy

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