July 20, 2015 / 1:46 PM / 4 years ago

UPDATE 1-Fed's Bullard says better than 50 pct chance of Fed hike in Sept -Fox

(Adds quotes from interview)

July 20 (Reuters) - The Federal Reserve is likely to raise U.S. interest rates in September, a top Fed official told the Fox Business network on Monday, as inflation is set to rise toward the central bank’s target and unemployment is poised to dip below 5 percent.

St. Louis Fed President James Bullard told Fox that the U.S. economy is closer to normal than it has been for the past five years.

Bullard, who is not a voting member on the Fed’s policy-setting committee this year, is a policy hawk who previously said the Fed has kept rates at near-zero levels for too long.

Bullard said it was unlikely the Fed would decide to hike rates at its July 28-29 meeting, with September a stronger possibility.

“Next week might be a little early. I think we will use that meeting to assess the data. We have tried to be data dependent here,” Bullard told Fox. “But I’d see September having more than a 50 percent probability right now, I think.” (Reporting by Michael Flaherty; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)

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