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Fed’s Evans: Could be okay with just one more rate hike in 2017

Posted by: Admin | Posted on: May 12th, 2017 | 0 Comments

DUBLIN The chief of the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago said Friday that he would be “very surprised” if the U.S. central bank raises interest rates more than two more times this year, and that it could be just once more if the inflation outlook clouds.

“If inflation is confidently headed back to 2 percent, I could see two more rate increases this year,” Charles Evans said in Dublin. But with inflation expectations not moving up as fast as he would like, “I could be okay with one as well if there are more uncertainties about the inflation outlook.”

The Fed raised rates in March, and Fed officials at the time signaled they expect to increase them two more times this year.

“I suppose it’s possible that growth would be so strong and inflation would pick up that we could get more than that, but I’d be very surprised at that this year,” Evans told reporters after a talk here.

Evans, who has a vote on monetary policy this year, also said that it seems “likely” the Fed could begin to trim its $4.5 trillion balance sheet before the end of the year.

(Reporting by Padraic Halpin and John Geddie, writing by Ann Saphir; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)

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