Fed's Kaplan urges patience in raising rates, points to global risks

Tue Aug 2, 2016 9:16am EDT
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By Elias Glenn and Lindsay Dunsmuir

BEIJING (Reuters) - A raft of global risks that could adversely affect the United States remains on the horizon and requires close monitoring, Dallas Federal Reserve Bank President Robert Kaplan said on Tuesday.

Kaplan, along with several other Fed policymakers, has urged renewed caution in trying to lift rates again since the U.S. central bank raised its benchmark interest rate for the first time in almost a decade last December.

"I am closely monitoring how slowing growth, high levels of overcapacity and high levels of debt to GDP in major economies outside the U.S. might be impacting economic conditions in the U.S.," Kaplan said at an event in Beijing.

In his second appearance within a week, Kaplan, a centrist at the U.S. central bank, repeated that he continues to back tightening monetary policy in a gradual and patient manner.

Chief among his concerns is sluggish U.S. growth exacerbated by a changing world in which economies are more globally interconnected.

"It's going to take many years and maybe decades for China to manage through overcapacity and high levels of debt to GDP," Kaplan added. "I think sudden jarring traumas ... may make that adjustment more challenging."

"We've got to be aware of our actions and the challenges that can bring to (China's) adjustment process," he said, adding that the strong dollar in January and February had a destabilizing effect on China.

The Dallas Fed chief, who is not a voting member on Fed policy this year but participates fully in deliberations, also said he would continue to monitor and assess the implications of Britain's vote to leave the European Union.   Continued...

The Federal Reserve Building stands in Washington April 3, 2012. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts/File Photo - RTSJQQT