Fed's Mester: I'm particularly focused on US consumers
Mester on CNBC:
- US less exposed that Europe on trade and consumer goods
- Are we slowing towards trend? Or something deeper?
- I'm going to take next few weeks before FOMC to look at data
- Weakness in business investment could spill over into hiring
- I supported leaving rates the same at prior meeting
- I haven't made up my mind about this meeting, I'm open minded
- If economy continues where it is, I would probably say we should keep things where they are
- Bond investors obviously have a more pessimistic view than most economists
- Business contacts are always mentioning trade uncertainty, but they largely say demand is good
- Wages have been moving up
- It's normal that interest rates are higher than Europe and Japan
- What happens abroad affects our economy but we have to be focused on the US
- Right now my outlook is that we're in a good spot but we need to be attuned to risks
She repeatedly highlighted the consumer as a risk. Mester rarely shows her hand even though she's a hawk. I get the sense she can be tilted either way. In any case, she's not a voter now or in 2020.