May 17, 2018 / 6:30 PM / 6 days ago

Fed's Kaplan: U.S. economy at or beyond full employment

(Reuters) - The U.S. economy has reached the threshold for maximum employment and it may already be lower than is sustainable, Dallas Fed President Robert Kaplan said on Thursday.

FILE PHOTO: Dallas Federal Reserve Bank President Robert Kaplan gestures during a news conference after of the True Economic Talks event in Mexico City, Mexico, July 14, 2017. REUTERS/Edgard Garrido/File Photo

“Our judgment at the Dallas Fed is that we are either at or already past full employment,” Kaplan said at a local chamber of commerce event in Richardson, Texas.

Kaplan is currently in favor of two more interest rate rises this year, in line with Fed policymakers’ median estimate.

The U.S. central bank lifted borrowing costs in March and policymakers are split about evenly between those who expect another two rate hikes this year, and those who forecast three, amid low unemployment, moderate growth and rising inflation.

The unemployment rate is currently at a 17-1/2-year low of 3.9 percent.

Reporting by Lindsay Dunsmuir; Editing by Diane Craft

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