Fed's Mester: Comfortable With 'relatively Soon' Liftoff If Growth Regains Momentum

The president of the Cleveland Fed said in a speech Thursday that she would be comfortable with an interest-rate hike "relatively soon" if economic growth regains momentum after a difficult first quarter. "If it turns out that the incoming information shows that growth is regaining momentum after the first-quarter slowdown and more broadly supports my forecast, I would be comfortable with liftoff relatively soon," said Loretta Mester, who becomes a voting member next year. She added in a speech to The Forecasters Club of New York that a delay in lifting rates could make it more difficult for the central bank to embark on a gradual increase in policy rates, and that too long a delay could eventually pose risks to financial stability.

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