THE FEDERAL Reserve can still hike rates this year, a US central banker said last night.
“I am confident the much-used phrase ‘later this year’ is still operative,” Dennis Lockhart, who votes on the rate-setting committee, said yesterday. “As things settle down, I will be ready for the first policy move on the path to a more normal interest rate environment.”
Lockhart described his decision to vote to hold rates at last week’s meeting as “prudent risk management around recent and current market volatility”.
Financial markets have been rocked by stock market turbulence emanating from China in recent weeks.
He reiterated the view the that when US interest rates begin to come off record lows, they will do so at a much slower pace than in the past. This would be a more appropriate path, he said, because the global economy was in a relatively weak state.