Central bankers will gather in Jackson Hole, Wyo., this week for an academic discussion on inflation just as China’s slowdown spooks global markets and renews fears of falling prices.
The Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City hosts policymakers and leading economists from around the world on Friday and Saturday at its invitation-only annual retreat in the Teton mountains.
The theme is inflation and monetary policy, and expectations are high that the highest-ranking Fed official at the conference, vice chairman Stanley Fischer, will shed light on the timing of Fed interest rate increases. Fed chair Janet Yellen has said she isn’t attending this year’s conference.
New York Fed president William Dudley on Wednesday raised the possibility that market developments might make a September rate increase less likely.
Add to that concerns among policymakers worldwide over a plunge in commodity prices that has revived the specter of global deflation. That has also fanned speculation the European Central Bank may step up efforts to stimulate eurozone growth. ECB president Mario Draghi will also not attend.
“Inflation will be front and center,” said Michael Feroli, chief economist at JPMorgan Chase & Co. in New York. “It’s a concern not only for the central bank here, but in the eurozone and in some Asian economies as well.”