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US Fed rate hikes not needed till mid-2018 as inflation is low: Prez Evans

Evans said he could still support 'three or even four' rate increases in 2018 if inflation and other data suggested that would be needed

Reuters  |  DES MOINES, Iowa 

US Federal Reserve

Sluggish price increases in the United States give the Federal Reserve room to hold off on interest rate increases until at least mid-2018, Chicago Federal Reserve President said on Wednesday.

"If we get to that point and have more confidence that is moving up sustainably, then further rate increases would be warranted," Evans, who does not have a vote on rates this year but participates in the central bank's policy debates, said in a speech at a banking conference.

Evans did have a vote on the Fed's policy-setting committee last year and dissented in the Fed's decision to raise rates in December because of his concerns over low US rates, which have been persistently below the Fed's 2 percent target in recent years. Investors expect the Fed will raise rates in March and policymakers in December signaled three hikes would be warranted this year.

On Wednesday, he said he could still support "three or even four" rate increases in 2018 if and other data suggested that would be needed. He told reporters after his speech that recent economic and financial market data suggest there are rising risks that rates could rise. He pointed to rising wages and market-based measures of expectations.

The US appears to be on solid footing, Evans said, adding that he still expects will hit the Fed's 2 percent target by the end of 2019 or in 2020.



First Published: Thu, February 08 2018. 08:00 IST