The Case for the Fed Lowering Interest Rates Amidst Sub-2% Inflation | Truflation

The Case for the Fed Lowering Interest Rates Amidst Sub-2% Inflation

Published 25 Jan, 2024

As of this writing, US CPI has been below the Fed's vaunted 2% target since 20 January 2024.

Its FOMC two-day Washington, DC soirée culminates in a Wednesday, 31 January 2024 afternoon Chair Powell presser to give rationale as to why it did or didn't do a thing – namely lower, raise, or hold interest rates.

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Delicate Task

In the realm of monetary policy, the Federal Reserve faces the delicate task of steering the economy through various challenges. When inflation falls below the 2% target, there emerges a compelling case for the Fed to consider lowering interest rates.

The Case for Lowering Interest Rates

Stimulating Economic Growth: Advocates for lowering interest rates argue that it can be an effective tool to stimulate economic growth. By reducing the cost of borrowing, lower rates incentivize spending and investments, boosting consumer and business activities.

READ: Balancing Act: The Case Against Lowering Interest Rates Amidst Sub-2% Inflation

Addressing Below-Target Inflation: Proponents contend that lowering interest rates is a strategic response to persistent low inflation. When inflation consistently falls below the 2% target, a monetary policy that fosters borrowing and spending can help propel inflation towards the desired level.

Supporting Employment: Those in favor of rate cuts emphasize the impact on employment. Lower interest rates can encourage businesses to expand and hire, contributing to a reduction in unemployment rates.

Managing External Shocks: Supporters argue that in the face of external economic shocks, such as global economic downturns or financial market turbulence, lowering interest rates can act as a buffer. This flexibility in monetary policy allows the Fed to respond proactively to unforeseen challenges.

Avoiding the Liquidity Trap: Economists highlight the risk of a liquidity trap, wherein interest rates are so low that traditional monetary policy tools become ineffective. Lowering rates in response to sub-2% inflation can help prevent the economy from falling into such a trap.

In the face of falling inflation rates below the 2% target, the case for the Federal Reserve lowering interest rates is supported by a combination of economic theories and practical considerations. Stimulating growth, addressing below-target inflation, supporting employment, managing external shocks, and avoiding the liquidity trap are key arguments in favor of such a monetary policy move.

As the Federal Reserve navigates the intricacies of economic management, a nuanced understanding of these arguments, coupled with careful consideration of prevailing economic conditions, is essential. Striking the right balance is crucial to fostering a resilient and dynamic economic environment.


J. M. Keynes, "The General Theory of Employment, Interest and Money" (Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1936).

C. L. Evans, "Monetary Policy in a Low-Inflation Environment" (Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, 2003).

A. G. Meltzer, "A History of the Federal Reserve, Volume 2, Book 1: 1951-1969" (University of Chicago Press, 2003).

M. Woodford, "Monetary Policy Targets After the Crisis" (Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City Economic Policy Symposium, 2012).

P. Krugman, "The Age of Diminished Expectations: U.S. Economic Policy in the 1990s" (MIT Press, 1994).

Further Reading in The Case for Lowering Interest Rates

B. S. Bernanke, "Deflation: Making Sure 'It' Doesn't Happen Here" (Federal Reserve Board, 2002): Bernanke discusses the importance of preventing deflation and the role of monetary policy, including lowering interest rates, in achieving that goal.

J. Yellen, "Inflation Dynamics and Monetary Policy" (Brookings Institution, 2015): Yellen explores the dynamics of inflation and emphasizes the need for a proactive approach, including lowering interest rates, to address below-target inflation.

O. Blanchard, G. Dell'Ariccia, and P. Mauro, "Rethinking Macro Policy II: Getting Granular" (International Monetary Fund, 2013): The authors discuss the importance of a comprehensive policy approach, including interest rate adjustments, to support economic recovery and stability.

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