Atlanta Fed president Dennis Lockhart says Bar High for Not Hiking Rates Next Month.
Lockhart, who is retiring in February, also made an amusing comment about willingness to run the economy extremely hot.
Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta President Dennis Lockhart signaled the U.S. central bank was on track to raise interest rates next month, provided nothing intervened to give policy makers “pause.”
“There’s a relatively high bar, at least in pure economic terms, a relatively high bar to not moving in December,” Lockhart told reporters Friday in Orlando, Florida. “There are other things that go on in the world that could give pause and I don’t completely rule them out,” he said, without providing specifics.
Lockhart, who retires in February after 10 years at the helm of the Atlanta Fed, said he was “ambivalent” on the idea of pushing unemployment well below what’s viewed as its lowest sustainable level. He is not a voter on the FOMC this year.
“I would be open to some of what you might call running the economy hot if you were talking about a relatively mild form of that idea that is not really risking undesired inflation rising rapidly,” he said.
Recall that Lockhart gave a speech on March 21 called “Kaleidoscopic Context for Monetary Policy.”
In his speech, Lockhart cited “sufficient momentum evidenced by the economic data to justify a further step at one of the coming meetings, possibly as early as the meeting scheduled for end of April.”
I commented on his speech with my take called Kaleidoscope Eyes.
On July 21, Lockhart was yapping about multiple rate hikes this year. For details, please see “The hikes are coming! The hikes are coming!”; Kaleidoscope Eyes Revisited.
Lockhart will be missed. He provided much needed comedy in an otherwise dull set of Fed commentators.
I offer this musical tribute.
Mike “Mish” Shedlock