Fed officials tamp down overheating worries as nervous investors look on.

on May5
by | Comments Off on Fed officials tamp down overheating worries as nervous investors look on. |

Inflation jitters are popping up in earnings call chatter, spooking investors and dominating business television talk shows. One place they aren’t taking over, it would appear, is the Federal Reserve.

America’s central bank is tasked with fostering maximum employment and stable inflation — making it the first line of defense against rising prices. Fed officials have been clear for months that they expect prices to pop this spring and summer as the economy reopens but that they think the jump will prove temporary. By and large, they are sticking to that script.

During a volley of speeches and appearances on Wednesday, central bank policymakers made it clear that they do not think incipient price pressures are going to prove painful or long-lasting. Some suggested they would even welcome what a hotter economy might have to offer.

“You talk about the economy overheating, you kind of go: ‘Gosh, I kind of like producing as much as we can,’” Charles Evans, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, said during a call with reporters. “Why would you like unemployment to be higher when it can be lower? It depends on what the added cost is.”

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