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The US economy faces a new threat
The US economy faces a new threat

New York, July 10 : The biggest danger facing the American economy for years has been inflation.

Now, another problem is emerging as a credible threat on the horizon: Unemployment.

Just as inflation continues to cool, yellow lights are flashing in the still-strong jobs market. The Federal Reserve must now confront the risk of making a mistake by keeping interest rates too high for too long.

That’s why some economists are pleading with the Fed to ease up its inflation fight—before high interest rates, which it’s used to tame surging prices, grind the US economy into a recession.

“It’s time to cut rates,” said Joe Brusuelas, chief economist at RSM. “Inflation is fading as the primary focus of concern. The balance of risks is slowly tipping towards higher unemployment.”

Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody’s Analytics, said the labor market is straining under the weight of high borrowing costs.

“The biggest danger is a policy mistake: The Fed keeps rates too high for too long,” Zandi told CNN in a phone interview. “Right now, the Fed is signaling a September cut. I think that’s okay, but if they wait any longer than that, I fear they are going to overdo it.”

Even Fed Chair Jerome Powell is acknowledging a significant shift in the risk calculus.

“Elevated inflation is not the only risk we face,” Powell told lawmakers on Tuesday, pointing to easing inflation and “cooling” in the labor market.

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