Trade uncertainties big downside risk, Fed officials say

FILE PHOTO: Federal Reserve Board building on Constitution Avenue is pictured in Washington, U.S., March 19, 2019. REUTERS/Leah Millis/File Photo

(Reuters) - Uncertainty over U.S.-China trade, including how long recently increased tariffs will stay in place and if and how trade tensions will get resolved, is holding businesses back from investments and could slow growth if continued, four Federal Reserve policymakers said on Thursday.

Asked what upside risks they see for the next few months, the policymakers -- San Francisco Federal Reserve President Mary Daly, Richmond Fed President Thomas Barkin, Atlanta Fed President Raphael Bostic and Dallas Fed President Robert Kaplan -- all said the key was some reduction or resolution on trade tensions.

“If uncertainties are amplified, then I think that’s a downside risk,” Daly said on a panel with the other three policymakers, who echoed that same sentiment.

Reporting by Ann Saphir; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama