SHAWNEE — Esther George, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, warned about the pressure that rising inflation could place on the health of the nation’s slowly improving economy during a speech before local community and business leaders here on Thursday.
“Looking at the effect of higher food prices right now and the impact of that particularly on lower and moderate income households is significant right now,” George said.
Food prices rose at a pace of about about 3.5 percent during the first half of the year, George said.
George, who is a non-voting member of the Federal Reserve’s Federal Open Markets Committee, spoke Thursday on the national economy and monetary policy at Shawnee’s Grand Hotel & Casino Resort.
Encouraged by lower unemployment and other positive economic indicators, Federal Reserve officials discussed at their June meeting ending the bond-buying program in October. They also talked about strategy for eventually increasing short-term interest rates.
Economic data, particularly inflation, would be key on how the committee decides to proceed, George said.
George predicted the national economy would continue to see slow, modest growth for the rest of the year.