The CEO of the grocery chain is calling for a halt to the Fed’s rate hikes

  • John Catsimatidis called on the Federal Reserve to stop raising interest rates to combat inflation
  • Annual inflation fell again in April, but remained high at 4.9%.
  • Fed policy makers are widely expected to hold off on raising interest rates at their meeting in June



A billionaire grocery store executive said food prices will continue to rise until Washington, D.C. stops doing “stupid things,” while calling on the Federal Reserve to stop raising interest rates.

John Katsimatidis, radio talk show host and CEO of Manhattan grocery store chain Gristedes, made the remarks in an appearance on Fox Business this week.

It came after the latest CPI data showed prices rose 4.9 percent in April from a year ago, down from a peak of 9.1 percent last summer but still well above the Fed’s 2 percent target.

When asked when Americans will feel relief from rising inflation when they walk out of the grocery store, Katsimatidis replied, “When food managers feel confident that Washington isn’t doing stupid things.”

“Now everyone is panicking,” Catsimatidis said. Bank executives panic and food managers panic. Everyone panicked and said, what’s the next shoe to drop? Let’s take a pause and let’s see how things work out by themselves.

John Catsimatidis, radio host and CEO of Manhattan grocery store chain Gristedes, has called on the Federal Reserve to stop raising interest rates.
The latest CPI data showed that prices rose 4.9% in April compared to a year ago

Katsimatidis criticized the Fed for its interest rate increases to fight inflation, claiming that if rates went up “you’ll have 1981 all over again”.

In 1981, the economy entered a brief recession after the effective federal funds rate jumped into the high teens to combat spiraling inflation.

Earlier this month, the Fed raised interest rates for the 10th consecutive time, a campaign that has moved the policy rate from nearly zero early last year to the current range of 5 to 5.25 percent.

But Fed policymakers are widely expected to pause interest rate hikes at their next meeting in June, with markets priced at an 85 percent probability of stopping as of Saturday, according to the CME FedWatch Tool.

“What we have to do is calm the markets and prices should definitely not go up,” Katsimatis said. I’d rather show that they will drop in the near future.

However, the billionaire grocery chain mogul appeared skeptical that inflation would fall to the Fed’s target range in the near term, saying “It’s not going to be a 2% rate anywhere anytime soon.”

But he argued that the traditional way of dealing with high inflation with higher borrowing costs cooling the economy needed to be “modified”.

A shopper walks through a grocery store in Washington, D.C. in this file photo. Grocery shoppers are still seeking relief from rapid price increases as inflation remains high

The truth is, we don’t want a bad economy. He said the American people do not want a bad economy.

“The vicious circle will continue unless someone is smart enough in Washington to say enough is enough,” Catsimatidis said.

He added that “the vicious cycle will continue unless someone is smart enough in Washington to say enough is enough.”

Overall grocery prices fell 0.2 percent in April from the previous month, but were still up 7.1 percent from a year ago.

Prices for bacon, milk, citrus and bacon declined by at least 2 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis.

The latest statistics released by the US Labor Department on Wednesday showed that the consumer price index grew by 0.4 percent between March and April — four times the 0.1 percent increase seen between February and March.

The central bank has raised key interest rates by 5 percentage points since March 2022
Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell has indicated that the central bank may hold off on further rate hikes as it assesses the impact of its previous tightening.

Meanwhile, the labor market remains surprisingly strong despite the Fed’s tightening cycle, with the economy adding a solid 253,000 jobs last month, and the unemployment rate matching a six-decade low of 3.4 percent.

A continued strong labor market could pave the way for the Fed to continue raising interest rates, although this is not seen as likely.

Fed Chairman Jerome Powell has indicated that the central bank may hold off on further rate hikes as it assesses the impact of its previous tightening, as well as the impact of recent banking sector pressures on lending and credit.

Since March, three regional US banks have failed, including the biggest bank failure since the 2008 recession.

As a result, nervous bankers have cracked down on lending standards, tightening credit conditions in a move that should help calm inflation.

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