From today’s speech:

A central bank must always be concerned with inflation as well as growth. As I have emphasized in an earlier speech about inflation dynamics, the behavior of inflation is significantly influenced by the public’s expectations about where inflation is likely to head in the long run (Mishkin, 2007a). Therefore, preemptive actions of the sort I have described here would be counterproductive if these actions caused an increase in inflation expectations and in the underlying rate of inflation; in other words, the flexibility to act preemptively against a financial disruption presumes that inflation expectations are firmly anchored and unlikely to rise during a period of temporary monetary easing.

There have been recent signs of inflation expectations rising, including today’s jump in the one year Michigan expectation to 3.7%.

Indeed, as I have argued elsewhere, a commitment to a strong nominal anchor is crucial for both aspects of the dual mandate, that is, for achieving maximum employment as well as for keeping inflation low and stable (Mishkin, 2007b). Policymakers therefore need to closely monitor information about underlying inflation and longer-run inflation expectations, and the central bank must be ready to hold steady or even raise the policy rate if the evidence clearly indicates a significant rise in inflation expectations.

Says here he will vote to hike if expectations elevate.


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