"That is very broad across Europe and around Asia, and that continues to weigh", the head of the USA central bank said.
"Taking into account the downside risks at a time when inflation is on the soft side would argue for softening the expected path of monetary policy according to basic principles of risk management", Brainard said in remarks prepared for delivery to the Community Bankers Roundtable in Scranton, Pennsylvania.
"We don't have any evidence for calling this a hot labor market", Powell told the U.S. House of Representatives Financial Services Committee.
But his comments on inflation also place him among a group of several Fed bank presidents who, in recent days, have suggested the need for lower rates is not yet convincing.
In prepared remarks released before the hearing, Powell contrasted the Fed's "baseline outlook" of continued USA growth against a considerable set of risks - including persistently weak inflation, a slowdown in other major economies, and a downturn in business investment driven by trade risks. Fed Chairman Jerome Powell in congressional testimony this week seemed to set the stage for just such a move, highlighting persistent uncertainty in part due to the U.S.
Investors expect that cut with near 100% certainty.
Earlier rounds of United States tariffs on trading partners including China had been dismissed as of little macroeconomic importance, with the Fed in early May still anticipating its policy rate would remain unchanged in a range of 2.25 per cent to 2.50 per cent for the rest of the year.
Powell has pointed to a number of national surveys as evidence business confidence took a hit recently, particularly in May after President Donald Trump threatened to impose tariffs on Mexican imports unless his demands about tougher immigration enforcement were met.
At its June 18-19 meeting, many policymakers expressed the view that stimulus would be needed soon, according to the minutes from that meeting released on Wednesday. A cut could lift home and auto sales by lower the borrowing costs for major purchases.
Powell will return to Congress tomorrow to testify before the Senate Banking Committee.
Some Fed officials, however, said that while they expected fewer rate hikes than they had in the past, "there was not yet a strong case for a rate cut from current levels".
Bostic does not now have a vote on Fed rate policy, but will participate in the debate when the Fed meets in three weeks in a session widely expected to reduce the Fed's overnight target interest rate by at least a quarter of a percentage point. The minutes may show how strong that bias has become.