Fed Vice Chair Clarida sees no need for a move either way on interest rates

Federal Reserve officials see both the economy and monetary policy in "a good place" and not signaling a need for any change in interest rates, the central bank's vice chairman told CNBC in an interview Thursday.

Richard Clarida, who has now been with the Fed for seven months and is thus one of its newest members, expressed a mostly upbeat view on growth prospects with no sign of a recession in sight.

He backed the "patient" stance the policymaking Federal Open Market Committee has adopted in 2019, a year in which it backed off previous intentions to increase its benchmark interest rate at least twice.

"One of the virtues of having the ability to be patient is that you just let the data come in," he told CNBC's Sara Eisen in an interview from the International Monetary Foundation's spring meeting in Washington, D.C. "We don't see a need now for a move in either direction."

Clarida's comments came a day after the FOMC released minutes from its March meeting, at which the Fed adjusted its forecast to no rate moves this year. The minutes reflected a central bank that will watch the data closely this year, with some members leaving open the chance of a rate hike if conditions continue to improve.

He noted the improving economic outlook this year, though he said Fed officials remain concerned that inflation has mostly fallen short of the Fed's 2 percent goal. Overall, he said the Fed anticipates that growth will continue even if it slows a bit.

"We don't seen an elevated recession risk," he said. "The economy's in a good place."

Market pricing is currently for the Fed to hold the line on rates through the year, with about a 47 percent chance of a cut by December. 

In addition to the market signals, White House officials, including President Donald Trump and National Economic Council Director Larry Kudlow, have pushed for the Fed to cut rates. 

However, Clarida said Fed officials are not taking political considerations into account.

"What I can tell you is you know my colleagues on the committee, we're just doing our job," he said. "It's a complicated world. Folks are going to have an opinion. I respect that."