Minneapolis Federal Reserve Bank President Neel Kashkari on Wednesday said he does not expect the U.S. economy to slip into recession this year, but rather to grow at a moderate rate.
The Fed raised interest-rates by a quarter of a percent in December, but has left them at between 0.25 percent to 0.5 percent ever since. Low interest rates are aimed at encouraging investment and hiring.
As long as inflation stays low, Kashkari said at a town hall in Rochester, Minneapolis, the Fed should try to keep putting more Americans back to work. The Fed will not raise rates again until “the data allows it,” he said, without saying what data he would need to see to support a rate hike.
Kashkari, the Fed’s newest policymaker, is not a voter on monetary policy this year, and his views on the economic outlook and interest-rate policy are not well known.
Since he began his job in January, he has focused most of his effort on floating new ideas for preventing future bank bailouts of the kind that he ran for the Treasury after the financial crisis.
On Wednesday, he said that the Fed’s giant bond-buying programs were the right thing to do after the financial crisis, but that they were neither the complete nor the perfect response.
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