The Federal Open Market Committee may need to raise the fed funds rate target “before a vigorous recovery has had time to establish itself” in order to prevent inflation, Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond president Jeffrey Lacker said yesterday.

The economic outlook is improving, Lacker told the Danville Chamber of Commerce, according to prepared remarks released by the Fed. “We’ve endured the worst downturn that the economy has experienced in most of our lifetimes, and conditions remain distressed in many industries and localities,” he said. “Yet the economy appears to have leveled out and I believe we can look forward to better times ahead.”

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