Fed’s Lockhart Urges Serious Discussion of Rate Hike This Month

12.09.2016

Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta President Dennis Lockhart repeated his call for a “serious discussion” about raising interest rates at the U.S. central bank’s meeting later this month, even after some recent disappointing economic indicators.

“Notwithstanding a few recent weak monthly reports — from the Institute for Supply Management, for example — I am satisfied at this point that conditions warrant that serious discussion,” Lockhart said Monday in Atlanta.

The policy-setting Federal Open Market Committee meets Sept. 20-21. Recent comments from committee members point to a division over the need to raise interest rates. Fed Governor Daniel Tarullo on Friday repeated a cautious assessment of the economy, while Boston Fed President Eric Rosengren argued there was a reasonable case for gradual tightening.

Investors will also listen closely to remarks at 1:15 p.m. New York time from Governor Lael Brainard, who has argued for patience in raising rates, for final clues before the central bank enters its traditional self-imposed quiet period before a meeting.

Minneapolis Fed chief Neel Kashkari, in an interview on CNBC Monday, said he saw no urgency to act and preferred to see more upward movement in core inflation.

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