Fed Officials Weigh Policy Adjustments Amid Rising Treasury Yields
Officials Address Concerns Over Treasury Yields
Senior Federal Reserve officials, including Vice Chair Philip Jefferson, Dallas Fed President Lorie Logan, and San Francisco Fed President Mary Daly, recently spoke at the National Association for Business Economics gathering. They expressed their views on the impact of the surge in US Treasury yields and its potential effects on benchmark interest rates. The officials are investigating whether this increase in borrowing costs is driven by investor confidence in a strong economy or if it is a result of additional compensation required due to interest-rate risk.
Tighter Financial Conditions and Economic Growth
In recent weeks, Treasury yields on 10-year securities have risen by approximately 40 basis points since the last Fed policy meeting. This increase has led to tighter financial conditions, prompting officials and economists at BNP Paribas SA to consider a more cautious approach. The rising bond yields have the potential to hinder economic growth. Despite a positive Bureau of Labor Statistics report showing job growth surpassing expectations, investors believe there is a low probability of a rate hike at the upcoming meeting. The probabilities for any additional tightening in 2023 are also below average, even after considering the impact of recent events such as the Hamas attack on Israel.
Rising Real Rates and Inflation Risks
NatAlliance Securities LLC has noted that the Fed has acknowledged the impact of rising real rates. Officials, including Jefferson, remain vigilant about inflation risks, a sentiment echoed by Wrightson ICAP LLC. Recent consumer prices reports suggest a further deceleration in inflation, with projections indicating a return to 2%. The broader increase in borrowing costs also raises concerns about financial stability.
The Complex Task of Risk Management
Jefferson, who was recently endorsed as Jerome Powell’s deputy at the Fed, emphasized the complex task of risk management in the face of rising market interest rates and tightening financial conditions. He suggested that the Fed is carefully evaluating whether additional policy adjustments, including changes to its short-term policy rate, are necessary to meet its 2% inflation target.
Considering Economic Growth and Market Interest Rates
Despite the persistent high inflation driven by a robust economy, an active job market, and potential energy price increases, Jefferson supported the decision to maintain the policy rate within its current range of 5.25% to 5.5% at the latest Federal Open Market Committee meeting. However, he pointed out that soaring market interest rates, slowing core inflation, and the effects on corporate bond refinancing might hinder better-than-expected economic growth without additional actions from the Fed. Investor risk attitudes and tightening financial conditions through higher bond yields are also factors influencing the future path of policy.
This article was generated with the support of AI and reviewed by an editor.