Fed's Mester: Further Fed Rate Rises Very Likely To Be Needed

By Michael S. DerbyFeaturesDow Jones Newswires

Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland President Loretta Mester on Monday called for additional central bank rate rises and added the U.S. central bank can likely act to start shrinking the size of its massive holdings of cash and bonds later this year.

"We have met the maximum employment part of our mandate and inflation is nearing our 2% goal" and risks to the economy are "roughly balanced," Ms. Mester said. "If economic conditions evolve as anticipated, I believe further removal of accommodation via increases in the federal-funds rate will be needed," she told the Chicago Council on Global Affairs in the text of a speech prepared for that event.

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That said, the official noted the Fed will be responsive to incoming data, saying "there are risks around the economic outlook, and because of that, policy is not preset."

Ms. Mester's comments on the outlook for the economy and central bank were her first since last week's gathering of the interest-rate setting Federal Open Market Committee, which left the Fed's short-term rate target unchanged at a range between 0.75% and 1%. Officials are widely expected to raise borrowing costs again in June and one more time after that as they push short-term interest rates back to a level they consider more neutral in regards to their impact on growth.

Write to Michael S. Derby at michael.derby@wsj.com

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

May 08, 2017 09:05 ET (13:05 GMT)