Another year before US rate rise; inflation unclear -Fed's Lockhart

July 11 Fri Jul 11, 2014 2:20pm EDT

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July 11 (Reuters) - A centrist Federal Reserve policymaker said on Friday near-zero U.S. interest rates will likely be appropriate until the second half of next year, adding he'll need a few more months of data to determine whether inflation is really headed up to the U.S. central bank's 2-percent target.

Dennis Lockhart, president of the Atlanta Fed, said he would even be comfortable overshooting the target, perhaps to 2.5 percent, as the Fed adjusts policy to react to an improving economy. Speaking on Bloomberg TV, he added there is no rush to shrink the Fed's bloated balance sheet once rates start to rise as long as policymakers were able to control short-term rates.

(Reporting by Jonathan Spicer; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)

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