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Is the Fed Done Raising Rates? Ellen Zentner Thinks So

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When it comes to the US Federal Reserve’s campaign to crush inflation by raising interest rates, Morgan Stanley Chief US Economist Ellen Zentner says this: “I have a strong view that they’re done here—but they have left the door open.”

Zentner joined the What Goes Up podcast to discuss the Fed’s decision this week to pause rate hikes, and what she expects of monetary policy and the US economy going forward. Cooling inflation should keep the central bank on hold until it’s ready to cut rates next year, she says. In the near term, a potential government shutdown by Republicans would bolster the case for maintaining the status quo at the Fed’s November meeting. A shutdown, she explains, would leave policymakers without all of the economic data they need to make a decision.

“In monetary-policy making, uncertainty tends to lead to policy paralysis,” Zentner says. “If we’re lacking data that the Fed can officially sink its teeth into, then that’s going to lead to an inability to make a decision about the path for rates.”

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