Could we see an extra Fed rate hike this year?

by Ryan Smith29 Mar 2017
If one Fed official has anything to say about it, interest-rate hikes are going to become a pretty regular feature of 2017.

In a speech Wednesday, Boston Federal Reserve President Eric Rosengren said he’d like to see four rate hikes of a quarter point each this year.

The Federal Open Market Committee has raised rates once this year, at its meeting at the beginning of the month. Fed officials have hinted that there will probably be two more rate hikes in 2017. But Rosengren thinks that four hikes should be the Fed’s “default” position, according to a CNBC report.

“Importantly, this would still be a fully data-dependent approach, not a preset path, as it would hinge on the incoming data,” Rosengen said in his speech at a meeting of the Boston Economic Club. “But the base case would be four tightenings, reflecting the strength of the economy that I believe justifies more regular normalization of interest rates.”

Rosengren doesn’t have a vote on the FOMC this year, according to CNBC. However, he still gets to participate in the committee’s deliberations. He said he thought the Fed should be more aggressive with rate hikes because he sees signs that the economy is “overheating.”

“If the economy runs too hot, it could ultimately require a less gradual monetary policy adjustment – which could potentially place at risk the significant progress the economy and labor market have made since the Great Recession,” he said.

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