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Fed's Barkin backs 50 or 75 bps rate hike in July

Wednesday, June 22, 2022
Fed's Barkin backs 50 or 75 bps rate hike in July © Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond President Thomas Barkin poses during a break at a Dallas Fed conference on technology in Dallas, Texas, U.S., May 23, 2019. REUTERS/Ann Saphir/File Photo

By Lindsay (NYSE:LNN) Dunsmuir

(Reuters) -Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell's guidance that the U.S. central bank will most likely raise interest rates by 50 or 75 basis points in July is "reasonable," Richmond Federal Reserve President Thomas Barkin said on Tuesday, even as he cautioned against the bank moving so fast that it damages the economy.

"I am pretty comfortable with what Jay (Powell) said. ...He gave a range that feels pretty reasonable," Barkin said during a webinar held by the National Association for Business Economics.

The Fed is poised to deliver another bigger-than-usual rate hike at its next meeting in July as it seeks to tame inflation running at more than three times its 2% goal, with fears growing that the economy will tip into recession as a result.

Barkin repeated that the Fed will have to make monetary policy restrictive, but said data and judgment would guide the central bank as its tackles "high, broad based and persistent" inflation.

"You really don't want to inadvertently break something and lead to a significant pullback in the reactions of economic actors that you weren't anticipating. It is a fine balance and I think judgment plays a huge part," Barkin said.

Last week on the heels of another report that showed price pressures escalating more than expected, the Fed raised interest rates by three-quarters of a percentage point to a range of 1.50%-1.75%. It now forecasts borrowing costs will more than double that level over the next six months.

Several policymakers, including some previously more wary about sparking a sharp rise in unemployment, have backed the new whatever-it-takes approach.

Powell's pledge of an unconditional war against price increases that are draining American pocketbooks will be scrutinized by U.S. lawmakers on Wednesday and Thursday during two days of regularly scheduled hearings, held semi-annually, before Congress.

Barkin said he remains hopeful that a lot of pandemic era price pressures will ease and inflation start to ease in short order, but gave no timeframe for when it might return to the central bank's goal.

Critics contend that the Fed has been too slow to act to bring down inflation which it argued last year was transitory. The more aggressive fight needed to quash surging price pressures will lead to a downturn as it cools demand across the economy, they added.

The clamor for a repeat of last week's 75 basis point increase in borrowing costs, the biggest hike in more than 25 years, has already begun from some quarters. Fed Governor Christopher Waller has called for the same sized move at the next meeting in July, saying the central bank is now "all in" on restoring price stability.

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08-07-2022 00:44:17 (UTC+7)

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 EUR/USD1.0153Buy
 GBP/USD1.2004↑ Buy
 USD/JPY136.04Neutral
 AUD/USD0.6836↑ Buy
 USD/CAD1.2985↑ Sell
 EUR/JPY138.12Buy
 EUR/CHF0.9893↑ Buy
 Gold1,738.55↑ Sell
 Silver19.177↑ Sell
 Copper3.5565Neutral
 Crude Oil WTI103.41Neutral
 Brent Oil105.30Neutral
 Natural Gas6.204↑ Sell
 US Coffee C218.53↑ Sell
 Euro Stoxx 503,488.50↑ Sell
 S&P 5003,893.10↑ Buy
 DAX12,843.22Neutral
 FTSE 1007,189.08↑ Sell
 Hang Seng21,643.58↑ Buy
 Small Cap 20001,767.75↑ Buy
 IBEX 358,122.50↑ Buy
 BASF41.300↑ Buy
 Bayer56.59Sell
 Allianz178.46Buy
 Adidas169.28↑ Buy
 Lufthansa5.764↑ Buy
 Siemens AG97.71↑ Buy
 Deutsche Bank AG7.983↑ Sell
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