January 14, 2019 / 7:41 PM / a day ago

Clarida reinforces Fed's mantra of U.S. policy patience

FILE PHOTO: A security guard walks in front of an image of the Federal Reserve following the two-day Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) policy meeting in Washington, DC, U.S. on March 16, 2016. REUTERS/Kevin

(Reuters) - The Federal Reserve is set to take a “patient” approach to policy decisions this year given there is good U.S. economic momentum but also a slowdown overseas, Fed Vice Chairman Richard Clarida said in a television interview on Monday.

“We can afford to be patient in 2019, there is good momentum,” he said on Fox Business Network, adding U.S. central bankers will decide interest rates on a “meeting by meeting” basis in the months ahead.

The Fed hiked rates four times last year including in mid-December when forecasts from its policymakers pointed to two more rises in 2019. Since then Fed Chairman Jerome Powell and others have stressed a more wait-and-see approach in the face of market volatility and concerns that weakness in China, Japan and Europe could hit what has been solid U.S. growth.

“A lot has really happened since the first week of December,” Clarida said, referring to the time frame in which Fed officials penciled in their latest forecasts. “We will look in particular at global developments and some of the global data that has been softening.”

But he added that the overseas slowdown has not been “severe” and he does not see a recession “on the horizon.”

Reporting by Jonathan Spicer; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama

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