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Richmond Fed President Thomas Barkin characterized the stronger-than-expected inflation data for January as a significant challenge.

At an interview, Barkin acknowledged that the recent date “definitely did not make things easier” for Fed. Instead, “it made things harder.” Nevertheless, he was still cautious about overemphasizing the significance of these figures, citing “seasonal measurement issues” that might distort the month’s data.

Barkin also emphasized that the US States is “on the back end of its inflation problem.” The critical question is “how much longer it will take” for inflation to align with Fed’s target.

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