Janet Yellen hinted that the Federal Reserve could raise interest rates for a second time this year at the annual Jackson Hole economic Symposium, stating that the case for another hike had “strengthened”. The Federal Reserve Chairwoman stated,
“In light of the continued solid performance of the labor market and our outlook for economic activity and inflation, I believe the case for an increase in the federal funds rate has strengthened in recent months. Of course, our decisions always depend on the degree to which incoming data continues to confirm the committee’s outlook.”
Friday 2 September will see the latest numbers for the US labour market with the Non-Farm Payrolls, due 12:30 GMT. We should expect a rate hike to materialize in September if the number of new jobs added exceeds 180,000. With improving labour market conditions, this may provide enough confidence for the Fed to continue its path of monetary tightening.
Elaborating further on the case for gradual interest rate hikes, Yellen notes there is a risk that keeping rates low will hinder the central bank’s ability to fight any recession in the future.
“Forecasts now show the federal funds rate settling at about 3