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Jamie Dimon Says Fed May Need to Hike Interest Rates Beyond 5%

(Bloomberg) -- Jamie Dimon said the Federal Reserve’s rate hikes might need to go beyond what’s currently expected, but he’s in favor of a pause to see the full impact of last year’s increases.

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There’s a 50% chance current expectations are correct in assuming the Fed will boost its benchmark rate to about 5%, and a 50% chance that the central bank will have to go to 6%, the JPMorgan Chase & Co. chief executive officer said in an interview aired Tuesday on Fox Business.

“I’m on the side that it may not be enough,” Dimon said. “We were a little slow getting going. It caught up. I don’t think there’s any harm done by waiting three or six months.”

The CEO of the biggest US bank made his comments ahead of US inflation data due Thursday and fourth-quarter results from top banks beginning Friday. Fed officials slowed their rate hikes last month, raising borrowing costs by 50 basis points after four consecutive 75 basis-point increases. The target benchmark rate is 4.25% to 4.5%.

Read more: Fed Officials See Further Rate Hikes Before Holding Above 5%

The wide-ranging interview took place Monday at JPMorgan’s annual health-care investment-banking conference in San Francisco — the first time it’s been held in person since before the pandemic. Dimon, who has been an advocate for employees coming into the office, said about 60% of JPMorgan’s workforce does so full-time and “about the rest” are there half the time.

On the economy, Dimon reiterated comments he made throughout much of last year, saying that while the consumer is still strong, heightened risks remain. He cited the impact of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and quantitative tightening.

While peers including Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and Morgan Stanley are laying off employees, JPMorgan is “still in hiring mode,” Dimon said, adding that he understands why firms are being cautious. He said wage pressure has waned a bit as attrition levels ease.

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