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Fed's Bowman says she will stay 'cautious' on monetary policy
Ann Saphir

Feb 27 (Reuters) - Federal Reserve Governor Michelle Bowman on Tuesday signaled she is in no rush to cut U.S. interest rates, particularly given upside risks to inflation that could stall progress or even cause price pressures to resurge.

"My baseline outlook continues to be that inflation will decline further with the policy rate held steady," Bowman said in remarks prepared for delivery to a Florida Bankers Association leadership luncheon in Miami. "I will remain cautious in my approach to considering future changes in the stance of policy."

Bowman supported the Fed's decision last month to hold its benchmark overnight interest rate in the current 5.25%-5.50% range, and on Tuesday said she feels the U.S. central bank's policy stance is "restrictive and appears to be appropriately calibrated to reduce inflation pressures."

She also repeated her view that if data continue to show inflation moving sustainably toward the Fed's 2% goal, it will "eventually" become appropriate to reduce the policy rate to keep it from becoming overly restrictive.

But unexpectedly strong readings on inflation in January "suggest slower progress" towards the 2% goal, Bowman said. Consumer spending and economic activity have been strong and the labor market remains tight, she added. Loosening financial conditions and additional fiscal stimulus could add to demand and stall progress on inflation, Bowman said, while geopolitical risks also could add to price pressures.

"Reducing our policy rate too soon could result in requiring further future policy rate increases to return inflation to 2 percent in the longer run," Bowman said, adding that she remains willing to increase the policy rate should it be needed.





Fed and economics reporter at Reuters

San Francisco Bay Area

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