Fed wants jobless rate lower, mid-2015 rate hike forecast 'reasonable'-Dudley

SAN JUAN, June 24 Tue Jun 24, 2014 3:26pm EDT

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SAN JUAN, June 24 (Reuters) - The U.S. unemployment rate can fall even further before the Federal Reserve raises interest rates, William Dudley, president of the New York Federal Reserve Bank, told a Puerto Rico accounting group on Tuesday.

"We think we can get the unemployment rate considerably lower and still not have an inflation problem. We also don't have inflation at a level consistent with price stability," said Dudley. "The market expectations are that the Federal Reserve will start to raise short-term interest rates around the middle of 2015 - that sounds to me like a reasonable forecast. But, you know, forecasts often go astray."

In May, the U.S. jobless rate was 6.3 percent, the lowest since the end of 2008 and unchanged from April, according to the Labor Department. (Reporting by Reuters in San Juan; Writing by Lisa Lambert in Washington; Editing by James Dalgleish)

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