Skip to main content
Southwest Economy, Third Quarter 2020

President’s Perspective

Rob Kaplan, president and CEO of the Dallas Fed, regularly speaks and writes on the factors that affect economic growth in the nation and Eleventh District. Here are some of his recent thoughts on key issues:
On the Fed Adopting Average Inflation Targeting

“This is not a formula; it’s not a commitment. We’re not going to use an arithmetic average. It simply means to me [that] as we get down to lower levels of unemployment, I’m going to look at a whole range of circumstances and factors. And if I think inflation is likely to be muted, I’m willing to take a little bit more risk and have a little more tolerance for a modest overshoot.”

Interview with CNBC—Aug. 27, 2020

On Providing Additional Forward Guidance

“I would prefer to wait. I would prefer to get more clarity on the path of the [COVID-19] virus. I think we’ve already given quite a bit of forward guidance. Through our Summary of Economic Projections, we have already said that rates are going to stay low for the rest of this year and all of next year, and I would prefer to show some restraint here. I think we’ve done quite a bit.”

Interview with Bloomberg TV—Aug. 28, 2020

On the Need for Additional Fiscal Policy

“I believe the economy needs a continuation of the unemployment benefits. It may not need to be in the same form as it currently is, but we need a continuation when you’ve got 17 million out of work and another several million who are working part time and would like to work full time and need some income support. The second part is aid to state and local governments that are needing to cut back because they have a fiscal hole and they have to balance their budgets—and we’re looking to them to help get schools back, reopened.”

Interview with CNN—Aug. 5, 2020

On the Importance of Mask Wearing

“[At] the forefront of this economy is the virus. And that starts with the whole ecosystem at the front end—all of us wearing masks. And it became clear to me talking to epidemiologists … the light went on where I realized we could actually manage this. We could substantially mute the transmission of this disease where the public could reengage in a broad range of activities. And we could recover faster if we all wore masks.”

Interview with The Wall Street Journal—July 17, 2020

Southwest Economy is published quarterly by the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas.

Articles may be reprinted on the condition that the source is credited to the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas.

Full publication is available online: