Growing economic headwinds and anxiety about the pace of growth are cause for the Federal Reserve to be cautious about hiking interest rates further, John Williams, president of the central bank’s New York region, said in a speech Friday.
Williams, who is a voting member of the policymaking Federal Open Market Committee, reiterated recent calls from other Fed officials that suggest a less aggressive approach to rate hikes in 2019 after a year that saw four quarter-point increases.
“The approach we need is one of prudence, patience, and good judgment,” he told bankers at a forum in Somerset, New Jersey. “The motto of ‘data dependence’ is more relevant than ever.”
Investors grew skittish over signs of an economic slowdown and worries that the Fed would make a policy mistake by continuing to raise rates on a preset course. However, in recent days Chairman Jerome Powell and a number of other central bank officials have emphasized the importance of data in the timing of hikes.
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