October 8, 2019 / 9:46 PM / 8 days ago

Fed's Kashkari says impact of trade wars hard to measure

FILE PHOTO: President of the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis Neel Kashkari listens to a question during an interview in New York, U.S., March 29, 2019. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton

(Reuters) - Minneapolis Federal Reserve Bank President Neel Kashkari on Tuesday said the U.S. central bank is having a hard time estimating the effects of trade wars such as the ongoing U.S.-China dispute on the U.S. economy.

“It’s almost, your guess is as good as mine,” Kashkari said at a town hall in St. Cloud, Minnesota. Because trade wars could slow the economy not just through tariffs but also by scaring businesses and households into holding back on spending, the effects are “almost impossible” to measure, he said, though the Fed is trying to model them.

Kashkari does not vote on policy this year at the U.S. central bank but does participate in regular policysetting meetings.

Reporting by Ann Saphir and Lindsay Dunsmuir; Editing by Cynthia Osterman

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