Fed's Fischer says four rate hikes in 2016 'in the ballpark'

Federal Reserve Vice Chairman Stanley Fischer speaks during a televised interview during the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City's annual Jackson Hole Economic Policy Symposium in Jackson Hole, Wyoming August 28, 2015. REUTERS/Jonathan Crosby

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Federal Reserve Vice Chairman Stanley Fischer said on Wednesday that four rate hikes by the U.S. central bank this year is close to his expectations, but added that global uncertainty could still veer this path off course.

“My view is that those numbers are in the ballpark,” Fischer, the Fed’s second in command, said in an interview with broadcaster CNBC.

The Fed raised interest rates last month for the first time in nearly a decade.

His view is in step with the median of Fed officials’ latest forecasts, which is for four rate hikes this year.

However, Fischer said that uncertainty had risen due to economic news out of China and geopolitical events such as North Korea saying it has tested a miniaturized hydrogen bomb.

“We have to react to incoming events and we will react to them,” Fischer added. “We don’t know enough now to know how many [rate hikes in 2016] there will be.”

Reporting by Lindsay Dunsmuir and Jason Lange; Editing by Meredith Mazzilli