March 3, 2017 / 6:39 PM / 2 years ago

Fed vice chair joins chorus on pending U.S. rate hike

NEW YORK, March 3 (Reuters) - Federal Reserve policymakers who have recently signaled a pending U.S. interest rate rise have been acknowledging growing confidence and aggregate demand in the economy and stock market since the U.S. election, the Fed’s vice chairman said on Friday.

“If there has been a conscious effort (to raise expectations for a rate hike) I’m about to join it,” Stanley Fischer told an economists’ forum, when asked about comments by other Fed officials this past week that have boosted market odds of a March rate hike.

“What my colleagues have been saying is correct,” added Fischer. “If you look at what’s been happening to the economy since November 8 (election) ... and to the asset markets, and if you take into account the operation of what people of my age call ‘animal spirits’ ... you will realize that there has been a substantial wealth effect in this economy.”

Reporting by Jonathan Spicer; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama

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