Raytheon CEO Signals Unease About Fed’s Outlook on Inflation

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Raytheon Technologies Corp.’s chief executive officer said he hopes U.S. Federal Reserve officials are correct in their view that the recent jump in prices is just transitory and that the U.S. economy isn’t entering a more costly inflationary cycle.

“The question is, how long is transitory? Is it six months, is it 12 months or have we gotten into what would unfortunately be in an inflationary cycle?” Raytheon CEO Greg Hayes said during a virtual event hosted by the Business Roundtable. “We hope that the Fed is right and that the Fed will take whatever action is necessarily to cut this off before it really does become an inflationary spiral.”

The Labor Department last week said the consumer price index in May climbed 0.6%, the second-largest advance in more than a decade and 5% higher than a year ago. But Fed Chairman Jerome Powell has said upward pressure on prices is likely to be temporary.

The commercial aerospace and defense giant anticipates wage growth of as much as 4% this year, about 1 percentage point more than what the Waltham, Massachusetts-based company expected prior to the coronavirus pandemic, Hayes said. A bigger concern for Raytheon are significant commodities price hikes seen across its business, including for copper and steel, the CEO said.

“There are just a lot of different things out there that are pushing our costs up and pushing prices up,” he said.

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