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Federal Reserve's Collins Suggests Cautious Approach to Future Rate Hikes

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Fed's Collins Advocates Cautious Approach to Future Rate Hikes

Boston Federal Reserve President Susan Collins emphasized the importance of a patient approach to policymaking, stating that she requires more evidence to be convinced that inflation has been effectively controlled. Collins, along with other central bankers, believes that the Fed may be nearing or already at the peak for interest rates, but acknowledges that further increases may be necessary depending on future data. In her speech, Collins expressed the need to proceed cautiously in the current uncertain economic environment, recognizing risks and remaining data-dependent. These sentiments align with recent statements from Fed Chair Jerome Powell and Governor Christopher Waller, who also support a patient approach while remaining cautious about inflation. Collins noted some positive developments regarding inflation, such as the Fed's preferred gauge rising only 0.2% in July and a slowdown in wage growth. However, she cautioned that it is challenging to interpret the data accurately and that if the improvements are temporary, further tightening may be warranted. Collins, a nonvoting member of the Federal Open Market Committee this year, believes it is premature to consider the recent improvements as evidence of sustained inflation returning to the target of 2%. Collins also addressed the time lags associated with Fed policy, stating that while economists typically expect rate hikes to impact the economy within a year to a year and a half, COVID-related factors and the strength of household and corporate balance sheets could extend these lags. As a result, Collins emphasized the need for caution in policy decisions to ensure an orderly slowdown that aligns demand with supply and supports sustainable inflation targets. Market pricing indicates a low likelihood of the Fed raising rates at its September 19-20 policy meeting, according to CME Group data. However, there is a close call for the October 31-November 1 meeting, with traders assigning a 43% probability of one final rate increase. These probabilities reflect the uncertainty surrounding future rate hikes and the cautious stance taken by the Fed.

Conclusion: Implications for New Businesses

The cautious approach to future rate hikes advocated by Boston Federal Reserve President Susan Collins can have significant implications for new businesses. This approach, which is echoed by other central bankers, suggests a potentially volatile economic environment that new businesses must navigate.

Impact on Business Planning

Collins' emphasis on the need for more evidence to tame inflation and the possibility of further rate increases depending on future data highlight the importance of flexibility in business planning. New businesses should be prepared to adapt their strategies in response to changes in the economic landscape.
Implications for Financing
The potential for further rate hikes and the uncertainty surrounding these hikes can impact the cost of borrowing for new businesses. Companies seeking financing should factor this into their financial planning and consider alternative funding sources if necessary. In conclusion, the cautious approach to future rate hikes advocated by Collins and other central bankers underscores the need for new businesses to be adaptable and financially savvy. By staying informed about economic trends and being prepared to adjust their strategies as necessary, new businesses can better navigate the uncertain economic environment.
Story First Published at: https://www.cnbc.com/2023/09/06/feds-collins-says-policymakers-can-proceed-cautiously-on-future-rate-hikes.html
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