Fed can be patient about lifting interest rates: Powell

FILE PHOTO - Federal Reserve Governor Jerome Powell delivers remarks during a conference at the Brookings Institution in Washington, DC, U.S. on August 3, 2015. REUTERS/Carlos Barria/File Photo

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Low inflation and a strong labor market in the United States are allowing the Federal Reserve to be “patient” about when it next raises interest rates, Fed Governor Jerome Powell said on Friday.

“Inflation is a little bit below target and it’s kind of a mystery,” Powell, who was in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, for a central banking conference, told CNBC network. “It’s too soon to make decisions about particular meetings and whether to raise rates but I think we have the ability - if we keep getting strong growth and a strong labor market - we have the ability to be a little bit patient.”

Reporting by Jason Lange and Lindsay Dunsmuir; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama