Fed’s Bowman repeats she’s willing to hike rates if needed

(Reuters) – U.S. Federal Reserve Governor Michelle Bowman on Friday repeated her view that inflation will fall further with the policy rate held steady, but said she has seen no improvement on inflation this year and remains willing to hike rates should progress stall or reverse.

“After seeing considerable progress on slowing inflation last year, we have not yet seen further progress this year,” Bowman said in remarks prepared for delivery to the Pennsylvania Bankers Association in Nashville, Tennessee. “While the current stance of monetary policy appears to be at a restrictive level, I remain willing to raise the target range for the federal funds rate at a future meeting should the incoming data indicate that progress on inflation has stalled or reversed.”

Bowman gave a similar assessment of inflation and policy earlier this month. Her remarks on Friday notably did not make mention of recent data, including on consumer price inflation, that this week had some analysts, but not many policymakers, sounding a bit more upbeat on inflation’s trajectory toward the Fed’s 2% goal.

“I will remain cautious in my approach to considering future changes in the stance of policy,” Bowman said.

(Reporting by Ann Saphir; Editing by Andrea Ricci)

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