Feds Evans: comfortable with two 50 bps point increases

  By Ann Saphirp

  Reuters – Chicago Federal Reserve Bank President Charles Evans said Tuesday that hes “comfortable” with a round of rate hikes this year that includes two 50 basispoint increases and reaches a neutral setting by year end, but he does not see the need for bigger hikes.

  “We should be looking for clear progress of easing inflationary pressures or else we would need to be much more concerned about how much we will have to do,” Evans told reporters after an event at the Economic Club of New York, adding that if core inflation is stuck at 3.5 the Fed may need to raise rates above neutral. “Im just not going to be able to make a judgment about that until the end of this year and probably into next year.”

  Just a month ago Evans had not seen the need for two halfpoint rate hikes this year, but inflation has picked up, with consumer prices rising 8.5 in March, and Russias war in Ukraine and COVID19 restrictions in China threaten to put further upward pressure on inflation.

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