Fed’s Williams says “strong case” for raising rates in December likely

by Bella Palmer

There is likely to be a “strong case” for raising US interest rates next month, the president of the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco John Williams said over the weekend.

This will be the case provided US economic data remains encouraging, the Fed official predicted.

“The data I think have been overall encouraging, especially on the labor market. Assuming that we continue to get good data on the economy, continue to get signs that we are moving closer to achieving our goals” and gaining confidence of getting back to 2% inflation, then “there´s a strong case that can be made in December to raise rates”.

The Fed meeting is due to take place on 15-16th December.

Williams continued: “I do think the slope is the most important thing to communicate, the pace of increases.

“We definitely do not want to, either through our actions or our words, indicate a preference for a very mechanical path of interest rates, whether it’s every other meeting or however you think about it.

“Since economic data can surprise on the upside and the downside, maybe there will be opportunities to show we are data dependent by moving a little slower or a little more quickly.”

He was speaking at the University of California at Berkeley.

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