November 12, 2019 / 11:15 PM / a month ago

Fed's Kashkari says he takes comfort from yield curve shape

FILE PHOTO: President of the Federal Reserve Bank on Minneapolis Neel Kashkari speaks 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 he takes “comfort” from the fact the U.S. yield curve is no longer inverted, a shape that has historically signaled a coming recession.

With business investment weak, but consumer spending and the job market strong, the U.S. economic outlook is “somewhat mixed, but a little bit more optimistic than maybe it was a couple months ago,” Kashkari said in a fireside chat at University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Fed policymakers last month cut their target for the overnight bank-to-bank lending rate for the third time this year, to a range of 1.5%-1.75%. Most U.S. central bankers view that range as “modestly accommodative,” Kashkari said.

“The fact that the yield curve is now uninverted gives me some indication that we have taken the brakes off the economy,” Kashkari said.

Reporting by Ann Saphir; Editing by Chris Reese

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