Fed Governor Christopher Waller does not rule out larger interest rate steps

The U.S. Federal Reserve does not rule out further interest rate hikes of 50 basis points. He and his colleagues on the U.S. Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) are committed to bring inflation back down toward two percent, Fed Governor Christopher Waller said at his IMFS Distinguished Lecture in Frankfurt.

In his presentation, Waller countered fears that further interest rate hikes could lead to distortions in the labor market. The job vacancy rate has reached a record level, he said. He was therefore optimistic that further interest rate steps would not slow down the labor market.

Inflation in the United States, as measured by the Fed's preferred indicator, the PCE price index, was last seen rising 6.3 percent for the year. In March, the Fed had raised its interest rate for the first time since late 2018, by 25 basis points to between 0.25 and 0.5 percent. That was followed in early May by a unanimous half-percentage-point increase to the new rate range of 0.75% to 1.00%. The monetary watchdogs signaled that they would follow up with further strong upward steps to keep inflation in check.

Speech and slides of Fed Governor Christopher Waller