Fed Needs Better Handle On Greece And Inflation Before Lifting Interest Rate: Rosengren

By MarketWatch Pulse

At the moment, continued low inflation and uncertainty over the Greek crisis are reasons to delay raising interest rates, said Eric Rosengren, the president of the Boston Fed, on Friday. The Fed needs "a better handle on how the crisis in Greece gets resolved" before tightening policy, Rosengren said in a speech to a business group in Idaho. In addition, Rosengren said he wanted to "wait for data that gives us greater confidence in our forecast" that inflation would move higher toward the U.S. central bank's 2% annual rate target. Core inflation remains surprisingly weak, he noted. Rosengren said he wasn't surprised financial markets want simple statements from the Fed about the future path of monetary policy but suggested this was unrealistic given the uncertainties in making forecasts in today's environment. The Boston Fed president, who will be a voting member next year, said that if the economy unfolds as Fed officials expected at its June meeting, "beginning policy normalization process later this year might be appropriate."

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