“A recession is not my base case right now,” Williams told CNBC’s Steve Liesman during a live “Squawk Box” interview. “I think the economy is strong. Clearly financial conditions have tightened and I’m expecting growth to slow this year quite a bit relative to what we had last year.”
Quantifying that, he said he could see gross domestic product gains reduced to about 1% to 1.5% for the year, a far cry from the 5.7% in 2021 that was the fastest pace since 1984.
“But that’s not a recession,” Williams noted. “It’s a slowdown that we need to see in the economy to really reduce the inflationary pressures that we have and bring inflation down.”
The most commonly followed inflation indicator shows prices increased 8.6% from a year ago in May, the highest level since 1981. A measure the Fed prefers runs lower, but is still well above the central bank’s 2% target.
By Bill Davis
June 28, 2022