The U.S. central bank should hike rates "sooner rather than later," said San Francisco Fed President John Williams, on Wednesday. "Waiting until we see the whites of inflation's eyes risks overshooting the mark," Williams said in a speech to community leaders in Portland, Ore. Williams said the economy needs some help from monetary policy but not the extraordinary amount that zero interest rates have provided over the past seven years. "The risks from abroad....and their impact on the dollar call for a continued push, not with a bulldozer but a steady nudge," Williams said. The San Francisco Fed president is a key close ally of Fed Chairwoman Janet Yellen and a voting member of the Fed policy committee this year.
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