January 5, 2018 / 10:48 PM / 3 months ago

Fed's Mester sees roughly four U.S. rate hikes in 2018

PHILADELPHIA (Reuters) - Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland President Loretta Mester said on Friday she expects roughly four interest-rate hikes this year, as U.S. economic growth picks up and unemployment remains low.

Asked in an interview whether she agreed with the central bank’s median forecast for three rate rises this year, she said she was “about” in line. “I probably have one more (hike) or a bit steeper path just because I think growth is picking up a little bit,” she said, adding she expects unemployment, now 4.1 percent, to settle around 4.75 percent.

“A gradual increase in interest rates is appropriately balancing the risks,” added Mester, who has a vote on Fed policy this year under a rotation.

Reporting by Jonathan Spicer and Howard SchneiderEditing by Chizu Nomiyama

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