Fed's Lacker favors faster rate hike path to curb inflation

File photo of Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond President Jeffrey Lacker taken on Capitol Hill in Washington June 26, 2013. REUTERS/Yuri Gripas

(Reuters) - Jeffrey Lacker, the hawkish president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond, said on Monday he is worried inflation could surge unless the U.S. central bank raises interest rates faster than his fellow policymakers anticipate.

“Right now I think we are at risk of getting behind the curve, so lately I’ve been an advocate of pushing rates up a little more aggressively than my colleagues,” Lacker said in an interview on WCVE, a Richmond public radio station.

Most of the Fed’s policymakers see the central bank raising rates three times this year.

Lacker, who plans to retire on Oct. 1, has for the last several years argued that the Fed should raise rates to prevent a spike in inflation even though it has lingered well below the central bank’s 2 percent target for most of that period.

The Fed’s policy-setting committee will meet next week. It is not expected to raise rates after lifting them by a quarter of a percentage point in December.

Reporting by Ann Saphir; Editing by Paul Simao