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Too early to tell impact of Trump policies: Fed's Kaplan

By Ann Saphir

WICHITA FALLS, Tex. Markets are betting heavily that the man Americans last week elected as their next president will enact fiscal and other policies that will boost U.S. growth and inflation, but at least one U.S. central banker is pushing back.

Since Republican Donald Trump was elected U.S. president last week, the 10-year Treasury yield has climbed to its highest since January, and stocks have risen to records, on expectations that Trump and a Republican Congress will legislate infrastructure spending, tax cuts and deregulation that will encourage investment and hiring.

But Trump has also embraced policies to restrict immigration, historically a key contributor to U.S. labor force growth, and jack up tariffs on trading partners including Mexico and China.

“There are some potential policies that would be positive for GDP; there are some potential policies that might be negative for GDP; and I don’t know which ones, nor does the country,” Dallas Fed Bank President Robert Kaplan told reporters Monday in this Republican stronghold, where Trump voters outnumbered Clinton supporters three to one.

Kaplan has repeatedly called for broad economic policies that can take over from monetary policy as a main driver for U.S. growth. But he has also said that trade has boosted U.S. job growth, and immigration is an important way to increase the labor force and economic output.

Kaplan said that the rise in bond yields is too short-lived to have any impact on his view of appropriate monetary policy.

“It doesn’t yet have implications for what I might or might not do – it gives me a sense of what the market is thinking,” he said, adding that he’s sticking to his current view that the U.S. economy will probably grow about 2 percent next year, and that it is “appropriate” for the Fed to raise interest rates soon.

“I think you’ll see us in the near future remove some accommodation,” Kaplan said. The Fed next meets in December, and is widely expected to raise rates then.

(Reporting by Ann Saphir; Editing by Andrea Ricci)