Federal Reserve

NY Fed's Williams says it would take a 'material' change in economy for Fed to adjust stance

Key Points
  • "As we've proven in the past, if economic conditions shift, change in a material way … obviously we're ready to adjust our policy views accordingly," New York Fed President John Williams says.
  • His comments come after the Fed cut rates three times this year, nearly reversing four rate hikes from 2018.
  • "With the rate cuts that we did this year, we created a situation where monetary policy is supportive and accommodating growth," Williams says.
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Watch CNBC's full interview with New York Fed president John Williams

The Federal Reserve will have to see a substantial change in economic conditions before making any shifts in its monetary policy, New York Fed President John Williams said Wednesday.

"Monetary policy is in a good place," Williams told CNBC's Steve Liesman. "But, as we've proven in the past, if economic conditions shift, change in a material way … obviously we're ready to adjust our policy views accordingly."

The Fed cut rates three times this year in a near-complete reversal of its 2018 policy moves. Last year, the central bank hiked rates four times. The last rate hike of 2018 added fuel to a massive year-end sell-off in the stock market.

"With the rate cuts that we did this year, we created a situation where monetary policy is supportive and accommodating growth," Williams said. "That's a good position given what's going on in the economy."

At its most recent meeting, the Fed last week set a high bar for further rate cuts and an even higher one to kick off another tightening cycle. Fed Chairman Jerome Powell said after the meeting that he wants to see persistently higher inflation before hiking rates again.

U.S. inflation has remained stubbornly below the Fed's 2% goal. The core personal consumption expenditures price index — the central bank's preferred inflation measure — rose just 1.6% in October on a year-over-year basis.

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