November 21, 2019 / 4:25 PM / 18 days ago

Fed's Mester: Weakness in hiring and consumer needed for material reassessment of economic outlook

Cleveland Federal Reserve Bank President Loretta Mester speaks in London, Britain, July 2, 2019. REUTERS/Marc Jones

CLEVELAND (Reuters) - Cleveland Federal Reserve President Loretta Mester said on Thursday that it would take a slowdown in hiring or consumer spending for her to reassess her outlook for the U.S. economy.

Mester reiterated her view that monetary policy is in a “good spot” and said that while she did not support the three rate cuts passed this year, she understood the argument for how it could address the potential risks from a weak business investment, a global slowdown and uncertainty over trade policy.

“What I’m focused on is any signs of that moving into the consumer side and whether the hesitation on businesses to invest in capital is also being manifest in terms of their hiring,” Mester told reporters after delivering opening remarks at a conference on financial stability hosted by the Cleveland Fed.

She said that so far the labor market and consumer spending are strong and that she still expects the economy to grow by 2% on average this year.

Reporting by Jonelle Marte; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama

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