- Federal Reserve Vice Chair Lael Brainard indicated Monday that the central bank could soon slow the pace of its interest rate increases.
- "I think it will probably be appropriate soon to move to a slower pace of rate increases," she told Bloomberg News in a live interview.
Federal Reserve Vice Chair Lael Brainard indicated Monday that the central bank could soon slow the pace of its interest rate increases.
With markets expecting a likely step down in December from the Fed's rapid pace of rate increases this year, Brainard confirmed that a slowdown if not a stop is looming.
"I think it will probably be appropriate soon to move to a slower pace of rate increases," she told Bloomberg News in a live interview.
That doesn't mean the Fed will stop raising rates, but it at least will come off a pace that has seen four consecutive 0.75 percentage point increases, an unprecedented pattern since the central bank started using short-term rates to set monetary policy in 1990.
"I think what's really important to emphasize is we've done a lot but we have additional work to do both on raising rates and sustaining restraint to bring inflation down to 2% over time," Brainard said.
Brainard spoke a week after the Fed took its benchmark interest rate to a 3.75%-4% targeted range, the highest level in 14 years. The Fed has been battling inflation running at its highest level since the early 1980s and continued at a 7.7% annual pace in October, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
The consumer price index rose 0.4% last month, less than the Dow Jones estimate for 0.6%, and Brainard said she has seen signs that inflation is cooling.
"We have raised rates very rapidly ... and we've been reducing the balance sheet, and you can see that in financial conditions, you can see that in inflation expectations, which are quite well-anchored," she said.
Along with the rate hikes, the Fed has been reducing the bond holdings on its balance sheet at a maximum pace of $95 billion a month. Since that process, nicknamed "quantitative tightening," began in June, the Fed's balance sheet has contracted by more than $235 billion but remains at $8.73 trillion.