March 7, 2016 / 6:21 PM / 3 years ago

Fed's Fischer warns that U.S. inflation could be accelerating

Federal Reserve Vice Chairman Stanley Fischer is seen during the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City's annual Jackson Hole Economic Policy Symposium in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, August 29, 2015. REUTERS/Jonathan Crosby

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Inflation is showing signs it could accelerate in the United States, a top Federal Reserve policymaker said in comments that back the view that the central bank will hike interest rates again this year.

"We may well at present be seeing the first stirrings of an increase in the inflation rate," Fed Vice Chairman Stanley Fischer said on Monday in prepared remarks, adding that faster inflation was "something that we would like to happen."

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Fischer did not comment on whether the Fed was likely to raise interest rates this year.

Many investors have doubted the Fed’s view signaled in December that it could hike this year, although recent signs of strength in the U.S. labor market and a modest increase in inflation have boosted bets for a rate increase in September.

In a speech before an economics conference, Fischer said America is currently “in the vicinity of full employment” and tight labor markets have a history of stoking faster price increases.

Even as global stock markets fell early in 2016 and concerns mounted over the health of the global economy, Fischer has steadfastly warned against falling behind the curve in controlling U.S. inflation.

Reporting by Jason Lange; Editing by Andrea Ricci

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