Charles Evans says ‘open-minded’ about right level for Fed rate

Charles Evans, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of ChicagoDaniel Acker | Bloomberg | Getty ImagesCharles Evans, president and chief executive officer of the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, told CNBC Monday that he was “open-minded” when asked about the right level for interest rates in the U.S.”I’m definitely open minded about what the right level of the federal funds rate target is to have appropriate monetary policy. At the moment I think appropriate monetary policy is somewhat under the neutral rates so that we are providing accommodation,” he told CNBC’s Annette Weisbach in Frankfurt.”Over the last six months we’ve had more challenges getting inflation to 2%, there’s more uncertainty, the trade negotiations have been challenging, the European and Chinese growth has been slowing, so it seems a more accommodative stance is a good one for the U.S.””What we’ve done already might be sufficient, but I’m open minded to suggestions that we might need more, at the moment I’m going to be looking at the data,” he said, specifying inflation and labor market data as key metrics.Evans’ comments come after the U.S. Federal Reserve approved a quarter-point interest rate cut earlier in September but offered few indications on whether further reductions are ahead with individual policymakers divided on what to do next.In July, Evans said a “couple” of rate cuts were needed to get the inflation rate near the bank’s 2% target. In September, the annual inflation rate stood at 1.7%.

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