Breaking News
Get Actionable Insights with InvestingPro+: Start 7 Day FREE Trial Register here
Investing Pro 0
Ad-Free Version. Upgrade your experience. Save up to 40% More details

Fed's Mester: Will need "compelling" drop of inflation to slow rate hikes

Economy May 10, 2022 03:03PM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This article has already been saved in your Saved Items
2/2 © Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Cleveland Fed President Loretta Mester takes part in a panel convened to speak about the health of the U.S. economy in New York November 18, 2015. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson 2/2

By Howard Schneider

AMELIA ISLAND, Fla. (Reuters) - Inflation will need to show a "compelling" slowdown before the Federal Reserve can consider pausing its interest rate increases, Cleveland Federal Reserve President Loretta Mester said Tuesday, with the risks currently pointed towards a tougher fight to bring the pace of price increases under control.

"I would need to see monthly numbers coming down in a compelling way before I would want to conclude we could now rest," Mester said in an interview with Reuters on the sidelines of an Atlanta Federal Reserve bank conference.

Between the Ukraine war, continued coronavirus lockdowns in China, and other factors "the risks to inflation are skewed to the upside and the cost of allowing that inflation to continue is high," Mester said, an argument for the Fed "doing more upfront rather than waiting."

The Fed is expected to approve half point increases to its short-term policy rate in June and July, "then we have to see," how inflation is behaving and debate how much higher rates may have to move, Mester said.

New government data on Wednesday is expected to show consumer prices continued rising more than 8% on a year over year basis last month, but may have slowed a bit compared to March - a possible sign that inflation has hit a peak.

Fed policymakers have set a 2% inflation target using a separate measure that is running about three times the target level. They began raising interest rates in March to try to cool consumer spending and bring the demand for goods and services more closely into line with what a stretched economy can produce.

Mester's comments point to a debate still to come over how different policymakers will evaluate incoming data, how much progress they will need to see on inflation to slow or pause further rate increases, and how much of a slowdown in the rest of the economy may be needed to cool the strongest price increases in 40 years.

Other Fed officials this week cautioned that demand could fall off fast as interest rates rise, a reason to be careful in raising rates.

Mester said she was open to the possibility that "excess demand" falls off faster than expected, or that world supply chains improve more quickly.

But at this point she said she expects the Fed's policy rate will have to move beyond the 2.5% level she regards as "neutral," and to a level that would begin to restrict the economy and likely cause the unemployment rate to rise from the current low level of 3.6%.

Even then, she said, she did not expect the Fed to fully win its fight over inflation this year or next, only to get back on the right path.

"I don’t think it will get back to 2% next year. But it will be well on its way, in the range of two and half percent but moving in the right direction," she said. "And given where the economy is and all the factors affecting inflation that are outside of our realm, that is acceptable to me."

Fed's Mester: Will need "compelling" drop of inflation to slow rate hikes

Related Articles

Add a Comment

Comment Guidelines

We encourage you to use comments to engage with other users, share your perspective and ask questions of authors and each other. However, in order to maintain the high level of discourse we’ve all come to value and expect, please keep the following criteria in mind:  

  •            Enrich the conversation, don’t trash it.

  •           Stay focused and on track. Only post material that’s relevant to the topic being discussed. 

  •           Be respectful. Even negative opinions can be framed positively and diplomatically. Avoid profanity, slander or personal attacks directed at an author or another user. Racism, sexism and other forms of discrimination will not be tolerated.

  • Use standard writing style. Include punctuation and upper and lower cases. Comments that are written in all caps and contain excessive use of symbols will be removed.
  • NOTE: Spam and/or promotional messages and comments containing links will be removed. Phone numbers, email addresses, links to personal or business websites, Skype/Telegram/WhatsApp etc. addresses (including links to groups) will also be removed; self-promotional material or business-related solicitations or PR (ie, contact me for signals/advice etc.), and/or any other comment that contains personal contact specifcs or advertising will be removed as well. In addition, any of the above-mentioned violations may result in suspension of your account.
  • Doxxing. We do not allow any sharing of private or personal contact or other information about any individual or organization. This will result in immediate suspension of the commentor and his or her account.
  • Don’t monopolize the conversation. We appreciate passion and conviction, but we also strongly believe in giving everyone a chance to air their point of view. Therefore, in addition to civil interaction, we expect commenters to offer their opinions succinctly and thoughtfully, but not so repeatedly that others are annoyed or offended. If we receive complaints about individuals who take over a thread or forum, we reserve the right to ban them from the site, without recourse.
  • Only English comments will be allowed.

Perpetrators of spam or abuse will be deleted from the site and prohibited from future registration at’s discretion.

Write your thoughts here
Are you sure you want to delete this chart?
Post also to:
Replace the attached chart with a new chart ?
Your ability to comment is currently suspended due to negative user reports. Your status will be reviewed by our moderators.
Please wait a minute before you try to comment again.
Thanks for your comment. Please note that all comments are pending until approved by our moderators. It may therefore take some time before it appears on our website.
Comments (1)
Connecticut Yankee
A_Jaundiced_Eye May 10, 2022 3:13PM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This comment has already been saved in your Saved Items
"I don’t think it [Inflation) will get back to 2% next year.  But it will be well on its way...and...moving in the right direction" <== This will be the CATCHPHRASE OF THIS DECADE!!
Are you sure you want to delete this chart?
Replace the attached chart with a new chart ?
Your ability to comment is currently suspended due to negative user reports. Your status will be reviewed by our moderators.
Please wait a minute before you try to comment again.
Add Chart to Comment
Confirm Block

Are you sure you want to block %USER_NAME%?

By doing so, you and %USER_NAME% will not be able to see any of each other's's posts.

%USER_NAME% was successfully added to your Block List

Since you’ve just unblocked this person, you must wait 48 hours before renewing the block.

Report this comment

I feel that this comment is:

Comment flagged

Thank You!

Your report has been sent to our moderators for review
Continue with Google
Sign up with Email