Fed's Williams Wants Rate Hike a 'bit Earlier'

MarketWatch Pulse

San Francisco Fed President John Williams said Tuesday that he wants the U.S. central bank to start raising rates "a bit earlier" so that the path of rates can be gradual. This suggests that a rate hike in June is not out of the question. Waiting until "we're face-to-face with 2% inflation" isn't a wise course because the Fed might have to engineer a more dramatic rate hike which could upset markets and damage the economy, Williams said in a speech to the New York Association for Business Economics. "I see a safer course in a gradual increase, and that calls for starting a bit earlier," Williams said. Williams, a voting member of the Fed policy committee, is seen as a close ally of Fed Chairwoman Janet Yellen.

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