Fed’s Mester says situation in Ukraine will be considered for monetary policy

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FILE PHOTO: Cleveland Federal Reserve President Loretta Mester gives her keynote address at the 2014 Financial Stability Conference in Washington

By Jonnelle Marte

– The conflict unfolding in Ukraine could have an effect on the U.S. economy in the medium term and should be factored in as Federal Reserve policymakers remove accommodation, Cleveland Fed President Loretta Mester said on Thursday.

Such geopolitical events can worsen inflation and be damaging to economic growth in the near-term, said Mester, who has a vote this year for monetary policy decisions.

“The implications of the unfolding situation in Ukraine for the medium-run economic outlook in the U.S. will also be a consideration in determining the appropriate pace at which to remove accommodation,” Mester said in remarks prepared for a virtual event organized by the Lyons Companies and the University of Delaware.

Mester reiterated her view that the pace of rate increases will depend on what happens with inflation, and that it should speed up if inflation does not moderate by the middle of the year and slow down if inflation comes down faster than expected.

The Fed official said she expects inflation will moderate this year as demand moderates and capacity constraints are resolved, but remain above 2% this year and next.

(Reporting by Jonnelle Marte; Editing by Andrea Ricci)

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