US yield curve could invert in ‘bearish’ sign, says Fed official
Short-term rates may exceed long-term rates by as early as next year
St Louis Federal Reserve President James Bullard warned on Friday that yield curve inversion could be coming as soon as late 2018.
“There is a material risk of yield curve inversion over the forecast horizon if the FOMC continues on its present course of increases in the policy rate,’’ Bullard was quoted by Bloomberg as saying in Arkansas. “Yield curve inversion is a naturally bearish signal for the economy. This deserves market and policy maker attention.’’
Bullard will not vote on the policy-setting Federal Open Market Committee until 2019.
Despite Fed chair nominee Jerome Powell’s insistence that the case for raising rates again in December is “coming together,” Bullard has his doubts.
“Given below-target U.S. inflation, it is unnecessary to push normalization to such an extent that the yield curve inverts,” Bullard said. He added “the empirical evidence is relatively strong’’ that inversion reflects economic outlook. “Therefore, both policy makers and market professionals need to take the possibility of a yield curve inversion seriously.’’