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Fed's Bostic Doesn't yet See Reason to Stray From Three Rate Increases for 2017

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10/13/2017 | 12:22pm CET

By Saumya Vaishampayan

Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta President Raphael Bostic said Friday he hasn't yet seen evidence that would deter the central bank from raising interest rates a third time this year.

The Fed indicated in September it remained on track to lift short-term rates later this year, which would mark the third rate increase in 2017.

"At the beginning of the year the bank set up a forecast, which was consistent with there being three interest-rate moves through the course of the year," Mr. Bostic said in an interview with The Wall Street Journal. "I haven't seen things that suggest that we should move off of that forecast, but I do understand that there are some areas of uncertainty."

Those include the effects of the hurricanes that hit the U.S. recently, as well as new data on the labor market and inflation, he said, adding that he is open to changing his mind about an interest-rate increase.

"Right now...we're seeing some fairly consistent growth in the economy and it suggests that we will see inflation pressures," he said.

Mr. Bostic joined the Atlanta Fed in June and is the first African-American to lead one of the 12 regional Fed banks. He isn't a voting member of the policy-setting Federal Open Market Committee this year.

Mr. Bostic spoke at a conference in Hong Kong this week.

Write to Saumya Vaishampayan at [email protected]

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