Brainard nixes notion of need for faster rate hikes

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The economic outlook has not changed, Federal Reserve Board Gov. Lael Brainard said in a televised interview Friday, suggesting the Fed’s projected rate hikes are on target unless data changes require adjustment.

With the “outlook for continued solid growth” despite a bit of softness in the first quarter, Brainard said she expects “continued gradual increases” in the fed funds rate target. In the interview on CNBC, Brainard indirectly rejected the suggestion of faster rate hikes by saying things are on track and rate hikes will be data driven.

“Right now, inflation seems to be moving as one would expect,” she said. While there are always “risks over the horizon,” Brainard said, for now, things are going according to estimates.

Since “fiscal stimulus at this point in the cycle is unusual,” she said the Fed will watch to make sure imbalances don’t develop.

On trade, recent developments add “uncertainty to the outlook.” However, if the situation escalates, it would become a “more complicated situation.”

Finally, Brainard dismissed the turnover at the Fed as anything to be concerned about, noting that with “clear objectives” and “guidance from Congress,” despite new members there will be a “high degree of continuity.”

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Monetary policy Lael Brainard Federal Reserve FOMC