Top official frets Fed will wait too long to tighten

NEW YORK Tue Mar 4, 2014 6:25pm EST

Jeffrey Lacker, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond, participates in a session titled, ''Help or Harm: Central Bank Monetary Policies at the Outer Limits'' NABE Economic Policy Conference in Washington March 5, 2013. REUTERS/Yuri Gripas

Jeffrey Lacker, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond, participates in a session titled, ''Help or Harm: Central Bank Monetary Policies at the Outer Limits'' NABE Economic Policy Conference in Washington March 5, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/Yuri Gripas

NEW YORK (Reuters) - A hawkish Federal Reserve official said on Tuesday he questions whether his fellow policymakers will have the "courage" and "will" to raise interest rates when the time is right.

Jeffrey Lacker, president of the Richmond Fed, told the Council for Economic Education that the U.S. central bank will have to move to tighten policy "expeditiously" before currently low inflation pressures start to rise.

(Reporting by Jonathan Spicer; Editing by Leslie Adler)

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