Disinflation Dream Come True (Alexander W. Salter, December 1, 2023R, AIER)

The current target for the federal funds rate, which is the Fed’s key policy interest rate, is between 5.25 and 5.50 percent. Using core PCEPI growth, the inflation-adjusted range is 3.29-3.54 percent. As always, we must compare this to the natural rate of interest. Sometimes called r* by economists, this is the inflation-adjusted rate consistent with maximum employment and output, as well as non-accelerating inflation. We can’t observe this rate directly. But we can estimate it. Widely cited figures from the New York Fed place r* between 0.57 and 1.19 percent. That means current market rates are roughly three times as high as the estimated natural rate!