By Nick Timiraos
Federal Reserve Vice Chairman Richard Clarida said it was too soon to judge how a limited agreement to halt the trade war between the U.S. and China would influence the economy, but any reduction in policy uncertainty is "obviously a positive for the economic outlook."
Mr. Clarida, in an interview on the Fox Business Network on Friday, also played down concerns about softer consumer spending after a report Friday showed a lackluster start to the holiday sales season in November.
"The consumer is in great shape," he said, citing a low unemployment rate, rising incomes and a high personal savings rate. "The consumer has never been in better shape in my professional career in aggregate."
Fed officials held interest rates steady at their final meeting of the year this week and signaled no appetite to raise them soon.
After lowering rates at their three previous meetings to guard the U.S. economy from the effects of trade tensions and a global slowdown, Fed officials on Wednesday indicated comfort with leaving monetary policy on hold through next year while keeping an eye on those risks.
"We were just doing textbook monetary policy to provide some support for the economy in the face of this global slowdown and muted inflation pressures," Mr. Clarida said Friday.
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(END) Dow Jones Newswires
December 13, 2019 16:03 ET (21:03 GMT)
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