March 23, 2018 / 12:09 PM / 6 months ago

Fed 'at or near' goals, further rate hikes needed: Bostic

KNOXVILLE, Tenn., March 23 (Reuters) - With the U.S. economy now at or near the Federal Reserve’s goals of full employment and 2-percent inflation, the U.S. central bank should continue raising interest rates gradually over the next couple of years, a Fed policymaker said on Friday.

“If the economy evolves roughly as I suspect, I will likely support further increases over the course of the year,” Atlanta Federal Reserve Bank President Raphael Bostic said in remarks prepared for delivery to the Tennessee Economic Forum.

Six-month core inflation is now at 2 percent, and unemployment of 4.1 percent is at or below precrisis levels; those two data points, he said, “give me confidence we are at or near the (Fed’s) sustainable employment and inflation objectives.” (Reporting by Ann Saphir Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)

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