Fed Williams: Only Low Inflation Holding Him From Backing a Rate Hike

By Greg RobbMarketWatch Pulse

San Francisco Fed President John Williams said Friday that he supports a "wait-and-see" stance of rate hikes because he has yet to see "convincing signs" that inflation has bottomed out. Waiting until inflation is "nipping at the heels of 2%" is not the answer, Williams said in a speech in San Francisco, suggesting he might be in the camp that supports two rate hikes this year. "I see a safer course in starting sooner and proceeding more gradually," he said. Williams was upbeat about the economy, dismissing concerns about the weak first quarter and saying he sees growth averaging 2.75% for the next several quarters. The labor market is also making "good progress" across most measures, he said. Higher interest rates will not cut the legs out from underneath the economy, he said.

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