(Reuters) – Philadelphia Federal Reserve President Patrick Harker on Thursday said he would like to get interest rates above 3.4% and then “maybe sit for a while,” adding his voice to the recent chorus of policymakers pushing back against market expectations for a series of rate reductions next year.
“I’d like to see us get to, say, above 3.4% – that was the last median in the SEP (Summary of Economic Projections) – and then maybe sit for a while,” Harker said in an interview on CNBC from Jackson, Wyoming, where officials are gathering for a major economic conference. “But if the data says we need to keep increasing, we keep increasing. We’ve got to get inflation under control. That is Job One.”
Harker said he needs to see more data on inflation before deciding what he thinks is appropriate for the Fed’s next meeting in September, either a third straight 75-basis-point increase or a slower, 50-basis-point hike. Even if they opt for the latter, Harker said a 50-basis-point increase is still “substantial.”
(Reporting By Dan Burns; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)