Chicago Federal Reserve President Charles Evans said on Monday that he’d be comfortable leaving interest rates alone until autumn 2020 to help ensure sustained inflation in the U.S.
“I can see the funds rate being flat and unchanged into the fall of 2020. For me, that’s to help support the inflation outlook and make sure it’s sustainable,” Evans told CNBC’s Steve Liesman.
Though Evans said he wouldn’t categorize the Fed’s December 2018 rate increase as a mistake, the central bank official did highlight more muted economic growth estimates and elusive inflation as priorities. The Fed has for years targeted 2% inflation as a level at which the U.S. economy can grow at a healthy clip.
The central bank’s preferred inflation metric, core personal consumption expenditures index, rose to 2% in May 2018, but has had trouble maintaining that level. Some Fed officials that have been concerned about spotty inflation reads — including Evans — have suggested that they’d be comfortable letting prices rise above a 2% pace in times of economic expansion to balance out periods of lower inflation and slower GDP growth.