Richmond Federal Reserve President Thomas Barkin has outlined a strategy that involves slowing down the economy as the winning recipe to decisively win the ongoing battle against inflation.
These insights took center stage during a recent conference call hosted by Market News International (MNI) where Barkin delved into the current economic landscape and the stance of the Federal Reserve on monetary policy.
With a dose of skepticism, Barkin questioned the feasibility of achieving the central bank's 2% inflation target through a smooth and straightforward path. He made it clear that the mission is still far from being accomplished.
"We will need economic slowing to beat inflation," Barkin said, adding that "there is more inflation to come."
He pointed to persistently high inflation in shelter and services, as well as rising healthcare and insurance costs. He emphasized that more must happen on the demand side of the economy to achieve a soft landing.
"I do expect some sort of slowdown," Barkin said when asked about his baseline forecasts for the U.S. economy.
Barkin's Outlook For U.S. Economy
However, despite the anticipation of a slowdown, Barkin noted that the U.S. economy is not unprepared, and any downturn may be less severe than past recessions.
Many businesses have been bracing for a recession for 18 months, and consumers have adjusted their spending habits accordingly.
During the Q&A session, Barkin responded to questions posed by Pedro da Costa, senior reporter at MNI. Barkin explained that people "hate inflation" and they are not just concerned about the year-on-year change in consumer prices, or what economists consider inflation. They care deeply about how the overall price level affects their daily lives.
Barkin explained that the average U.S. consumer keeps comparing today's prices with those of three years ago.
When asked about the threshold for raising interest rates further, Barkin highlighted that the core issues are inflation and demand resiliency.
"I anticipate we'll see flattish consumer spending in Q4," Barkin said.
As of midday trading in New York, the S&P 500 index, as tracked by the SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust
Treasury yields were higher, particularly for the long-end of the curve, with 30-year yields rising as much as 8 basis points to 4.70%. The popular iShares 20+ Year Treasury Bond ETF
Traders are eagerly anticipating Fed Chair Jerome Powell's remarks at the 24th Jacques Polak Annual Research Conference in Washington, D.C., scheduled for 2:00 p.m. ET.