Fed’s Williams: ‘soft landing’ would still see unemployment rate rise

FILE PHOTO: John Williams, chief executive officer of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, speaks at an event in New York, U.S., November 6, 2019. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri

ELTVILLE AM RHEIN, Germany (Reuters) – The Federal Reserve’s efforts to tame inflation will at best still see declining economic growth and a small rise in the unemployment rate for a period, New York Fed President John Williams said on Tuesday.

“When I think of a soft landing, it’s really a matter of, yes we could see growth below trend for a while and we definitely could see unemployment moving up somewhat but not in a huge way…I think that’s the challenge,” Williams said during a question and answer session following a speech to an economics conference organized by Germany’s central bank in Eltville am Rhein, Germany.

Williams added that he would not define a soft landing as an economy in which the unemployment rate stayed at its current level of 3.6%, but one in which the labor market stayed broadly strong and healthy as inflation came down toward the central bank’s goal.


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