US economy has good momentum in 2019: Fed Vice Chair Richard Clarida

The Federal Reserve affirmed its optimistic outlook for the U.S. economy in 2019.

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“The economy has good momentum going into 2019,” Federal Reserve Vice Chairman Richard Clarida said in an exclusive interview on FOX Business on Monday. “Our priority is pursuing a monetary policy that will achieve our objective, which is full employment and price stability.”

The central bank instituted four rate hikes in 2018 with the last one in December and saw the benchmark federal funds rate rise a quarter-point. President Trump has indicated that the Fed is his biggest issue in terms of the slowdown of the economy.

However, Clarida said he doesn’t think the Fed will become the headwind of the economy as it continues a path toward gradual normalization of policy rates.

“We think we can afford to be patient in our meetings this year as we assess the appropriate policy,” he said.

Global economic growth is expected to slow down, a factor Claridad said won’t appear to have a severe impact on the U.S. economy.

“The U.S. is part of the global economy and as global growth slows that tends to impact our exports and that’s the most direct factor that we would look at,” he said.

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The Fed’s No. 2 said preliminary data is showing a pickup in business investment in the first half of the year.

“Strong investment is important for longer-term productivity,” Clarida said.