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Dallas Fed’s Kaplan says ‘agnostic’ on need for rate cut in October

Dallas Fed President Robert Kaplan said Friday that he’s not sure whether the central bank should cut rates at its meeting at the end of the month. “I’m going into the meeting open-minded, but I’m agnostic at this point on whether we should be taking action at the October meeting,” Kaplan said in comments to reporters after a talk in Washington. Kaplan said he had been a strong proponent of the two rate cuts so far this year but now was open to the idea that the central bank could take some time to assess the economy and the stimulus from those two moves. The Dallas Fed president said that businesses were cutting back on plans due to trade uncertainty but haven’t taken the next step of actively cutting back on their workforce. Asked about the market pricing in an 85% chance of a cut by the end of October, Kaplan said it was not his job to do what investors expect. Kaplan said that he had penciled in one more rate cut by the end of 2020 but said this could change. There are downside risks to this forecast, he said. Kaplan is not a voting member of the Fed interest-rate committee this year.
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