October 11, 2017 / 6:42 PM / 2 years ago

Fed's Williams sees one more 2017 rate hike, three in 2018

FILE PHOTO: President and Chief Executive Officer of the U.S. Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, John Williams, addresses a news conference in Zurich, Switzerland September 22, 2017. REUTERS/Arnd Wiegmann

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (Reuters) - San Francisco Federal Reserve Bank President John Williams on Wednesday said he expects the U.S. central bank to raise interest rates later this year, three times next year, and a little bit further in 2019.

Speaking with reporters after giving a talk on low interest rates in Salt Lake City, Williams also said he would be strongly opposed to replacing the Fed’s 2-percent inflation target with a range, saying that doing so could allow inflation expectations to drift downward. Kevin Warsh, a former Fed Governor who is under consideration by President Donald Trump to run the Fed once Fed Chair Janet Yellen’s term is up in February, has said he would favor a range. Warsh has also said he opposes Fed bond-buying, while on Wednesday Williams said he believes the Fed needs the option to buy bonds to manage a future economic downturn.

Williams declined to comment directly on the prospect of Warsh becoming Fed chair.

Reporting by Ann Saphir; editing by Diane Craft

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