KC Fed president on Jackson Hole, inflation, tapering measures
Kansas City Federal Reserve President Esther George, in a wide-ranging exclusive interview, argued that tapering should happen ‘sooner rather than later’ and predicted ‘high growth’ for the U.S. economy this year.
The U.S. unemployment rate may not return to the more than half-century lows recorded under former President Donald Trump, according to Esther George, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City.
The national unemployment rate is currently at 5.4%, a pandemic-era low, but remains elevated from the 3.5% that was reached under Trump. Many workers remain on the sidelines due to generous unemployment benefits, the closing of schools and day care, and fears over the virus.
"I'm not necessarily wedded to saying a pre-pandemic number will represent full employment because one of the things we know is that the pandemic shock could have had real impacts on the way we work," George told FOX Business’ Edward Lawrence.
The Federal Reserve’s dual mandate calls for the central bank to achieve maximum employment and price stability. However, the central bank last year said it would allow inflation to run above its 2% target "for some time" in order to achieve its employment objective.
FED'S GEORGE SAYS IT'S TIME TO START TAPERING ASSET PURCHASES
The Fed as recently as 2019 thought a 4.1% unemployment rate represented "full employment."
That was until Trump’s tax cuts and deregulation helped the U.S. economy, before the pandemic, achieve its lowest unemployment rate since the 1950s. The policies helped achieve record low unemployment for Asians, Blacks and Hispanics.