It may be several meetings of the Federal Open Market Committee before Fed policymakers have a clearer read on whether the risks are becoming reality — and by how much the economy will slow compared to last year, Rosengren said in his remarks, prepared for delivery to a branch of the National Association of Corporate Directors in Boston.
With less ebullience in financial markets and no immediate signs of inflationary pressures, patiently watching to see how the economy develops is the appropriate policy for now, and represents prudent management of risks to the forecast, he said.
The Fed’s next policy meeting will be held March 19-20, followed by meetings in April, June and July.
Rosengren, who last year said a tight labor market could lead to rising inflation concerns, said on Tuesday that improvements in the job market are not showing much risk of pushing prices higher, perhaps because companies have significant profit margins to absorb cost increases. He said he expects the economy to grow somewhat above 2 percent in 2019, with inflation close to the Feds 2 percent target.
But debt markets and foreign stocks still price in elevated risk, he said, sending an unclear message about what risks lie ahead for the economy.