Three interest rate increases from the Federal Reserve are likely to arrive in 2017, but the economy is strong enough to handle it — for now.
At a Main Line Chamber of Commerce breakfast last week, Philadelphia Federal Reserve Bank President Patrick Harker predicted the new year would see three interest rate increases, according to a Daily Local News report by Brian McCullough.
“The headline is that things are looking pretty good, or as I should say as a policy wonk: The economy is displaying considerable strength,” Harker said in the article.
The strength measured by the Fed is GDP growth, labor market and inflation rate, which is nearing its target 2 percent.
“Looking at all the information and trends over the past few years, I see inflation on course to meet our target sometime this year or next,” he said.
But beyond the near term, Harker expressed concern about employment in the wake of looming baby boomer retirements and a fast-declining rate of males age 25 to 54 who aren’t working for unknown reasons.
“There’s also a lot of talk about hidden pockets of unemployment, with particular concern that people may have dropped out of the labor market entirely, out of frustration,” he noted.