July 17, 2019 / 6:26 PM / 4 months ago

Fed's George hints she could be open to lower interest rates

(Reuters) - Kansas City Federal Reserve Bank President Esther George on Wednesday said she is prepared to adjust her views on interest rate policy if looming economic risks materialize, a sign she might be open to lowering borrowing costs.

The comments by George, who has a vote this year on the Fed’s rate-setting committee and is considered among the policymakers least inclined to keep interest rates low, is a sign of the growing momentum at the U.S. central bank for rate cuts.

George told a symposium on agriculture in Kansas City she thought recent economic data pointed to ongoing strength in the economy but that risks were mounting.

The risks are “primarily coming from trade and tariff uncertainties and certainly ... slower growth abroad,” George said.

On May 14, George said she saw no case for interest rate cuts. On Wednesday, George said that while she has supported keeping rates steady at recent Fed meetings, “I’m also prepared to adjust those views should we realize some of these downside risks.”

Reporting by Jason Lange in Washington; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama

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