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Kansas City Fed president says holding rates steady is 'appropriate' for now

Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City President Esther George said in a speech on Jan. 14 that keeping rates on hold for the time being is "appropriate."

George, who voted against all three of the Fed's 2019 rate cuts, called for a pause so that Fed officials can better assess how the 2019 cuts are impacting the economy.

The Kansas City Fed president said that solid growth in consumer spending, supported by low unemployment and rising wages, will continue to drive the expansion, while "continued weakness in manufacturing and business spending" will weigh on it.

George said that tepid global growth and trade tensions — the root causes of weak business spending — will continue in the near future. The combination of these factors should lead real GDP growth to slow to its long-run trend, between 1.75% and 2%. She also said she expects inflation to be "benign" and for the unemployment rate to remain around 3.5%.