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Fed officials, including newcomer Cook, sing the same battle hymn


WASHINGTON -New Federal Reserve Governor Lisa Cook on Thursday added her voice to the U.S. central bank’s broad consensus for continued interest rate hikes, as other policymakers reiterated they too see no let-up in their effort to vanquish inflation.
U.S. inflation “remains stubbornly and unacceptably high, and data over the past few months show that inflationary pressures remain broad-based,” requiring continued rate increases to be sure it begins falling, Cook said in her first public remarks on monetary policy since joining the Fed’s Washington-based board.
Cook, speaking to the Peterson Institute for International Economics in Washington, said recent declines in job vacancies, slowing rent increases and other data showing that price pressures might be easing were not enough to conclude the Fed had rounded the corner in its fight against rising prices.
Inflation “must come down, and we will keep at it until the job is done,” Cook said, repeating what has become the Fed’s trademark phrase to relay its willingness to raise its target policy rate to a restrictive level and slow the economy, even at the risk of less economic growth and more unemployment.
Her comments put Cook, who has a doctorate in economics and is the first Black woman on the Fed’s governing board, firmly behind the central bank’s drive for continued rate increases.
Fed Governor Philip Jefferson, in his debut remarks this week, said he too was “resolute” about controlling inflation.
Fed officials in recent days have nodded to signs that inflation may be easing, to stress in financial markets, and to the pressure their monetary policy tightening is putting on economic conditions in other countries – and given no indication they are about to change their plans.
Fed Governor Christopher Waller delivered that message with his characteristic bluntness on Thursday.
“I anticipate additional rate hikes into early next year,” he said, adding the Fed should not pause rate hikes until it sees signs of inflation moderating.

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