Fed's Brainard: Move cautiously before hiking interest rates

IndustriesAssociated Press

Federal Reserve board member Lael Brainard indicates she's in no hurry to raise interest rates again, comments that could be greeted with relief on Wall Street.

In a speech in Chicago, Brainard says the risk that higher rates will damage a fragile economy exceeds the risk that higher rates will ignite inflation. Economic weakness "counsels prudence," she says.

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Financial markets were on edge before Brainard's speech after several Fed officials have in recent days signaled a willingness to discuss a rate hike at their meeting next week. Low rates have fueled a strong stock market rally, and investors were expecting the Fed to delay a rate increase until December or later.

Brainard is among the Fed's top "doves," who believe the central bank should be cautious about raising rates.