Fed’s Harker says he opposed last rate cut, thinks rates should stay put

FILE PHOTO: U.S. Federal Reserve Chair Janet L. Yellen participates in a roundtable discussion with Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia President Patrick Harker and members of the West Philadelphia Skills Initiative in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S., June 6, 2016. REUTERS/Charles Mostoller/File Photo

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Philadelphia Federal Reserve Bank President Patrick Harker said on Tuesday he did not support the Fed’s last rate cut in October and that the central bank should keep policy steady.


“I’m of the mind that we stay put for now and see how things work out,” Harker said in New York during an event organized by the Society for Advancing Business Editing and Writing.

The policymaker said he thinks rates are currently neutral or “slightly accommodative” and that he doesn’t think lower rates will be enough to encourage spending from businesses being held back by trade uncertainty. He said he expects inflation to grow slowly to reach the Fed’s 2% target.

Harker previously said that he opposed the September rate cut and thought the committee should “hold firm” on policy.

He does not currently have a vote on monetary policy but he becomes a voting member next year.

Reporting by Jonnelle Marte; Editing by Andrea Ricci

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