A portrait of Joe Davis, Vanguard’s chief global economist.
Markets and economy

U.S. Federal Reserve: Striking a delicate balance

Joe Davis, Vanguard’s global chief economist, discusses the trade-offs facing the Fed in its efforts to achieve price stability.
1:38 minute watch
March 21, 2023
Markets and economy
Economic outlook
Market volatility
Interest rates

In this short video, Joe Davis, Vanguard’s global chief economist, discusses the trade-offs facing the Fed in its efforts to achieve price stability.


Joe Davis: The Federal Reserve, as well as other central banks, but the Federal Reserve is trying to walk that delicate line. They have a delicate balance to make. Ultimately, they have to help ensure that their interest rate is set so they ultimately achieve price stability for the U.S. economy, roughly 2% inflation over the medium run.

Now I think two things to keep in mind: The central bank and Federal Reserve have moved very aggressively, something we were hoping they would do and they have followed through in those forecasts over the course of more than a year and have taken rates roughly into more restrictive territory, which should help ensure that inflation ultimately decelerates in the months ahead.

And again in the months ahead, I think we will see this trade off that the central bank and the Federal Reserve will continue to make and that is perhaps bouts of financial volatility, which would suggest lower growth, and a tight labor market, which would suggest potential future wage and hence inflationary pressures.

So I think we're coming closer to the end of the Federal Reserve tightening cycle. And what the Federal Reserve and policymakers ultimately do in the months ahead will be dependent really upon those two tradeoffs, that delicate balance that we will see.

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