Federal Reserve Bank of New York President William Dudley offered a positive outlook for the U.S. economy, job market and inflation on Thursday, saying better conditions would help support the most vulnerable Americans.
“Our outlook anticipates a continued moderate growth trend, with some further strengthening in the labor market and an increase in inflation over the medium term toward our objective of 2%,” he said in opening remarks prepared for delivery at a press briefing in New York on inequality.
“Stronger labor market conditions are perhaps the best means to improve the economic well-being of most Americans, particularly those who have been struggling and are most vulnerable to economic downturns,” said Dudley, who also serves as vice chairman of the policy-setting Federal Open Market Committee.
Fed policy makers are expected to announce when they meet next month that they will begin paring down the U.S. central bank’s $4.5 trillion balance sheet, which they built up after the financial crisis in an effort to stimulate the economy by reducing long-term interest rates. They have raised their benchmark interest rate four times since December 2015, but the chances of another increase this year have fallen to around one in three following a string of government reports that showed muted wage and price pressures in recent months.