BEIJING — It’s unlikely that “exceptionally low” Federal Reserve interest rates will be warranted until at least late 2014, as the Federal Open Market Committee restated after its March 13 policy meeting, Richmond Federal Reserve Bank president Jeffrey Lacker said Friday morning.
Rather, the federal funds rate will likely need to rise “sometime in 2013,” Lacker said in a statement released on the Richmond Fed website. Lacker, a voting FOMC member, was the lone dissenter from the March 13 policy statement.
“I dissented because I do not believe economic conditions are likely to warrant an exceptionally low federal funds rate for this length of time,” Lacker said of the late 2014 timeframe.
“The economy is expanding at a moderate pace, and inflation is close to the committee’s 2% objective. As the expansion continues, the federal funds rate will need to rise in order to prevent the emergence of inflationary pressures.”
“The forward guidance is intended to represent our best forecast of the appropriate timing of changes in the Federal Funds rate, and my current assessment is that an increase in interest rates is likely to be necessary some time in 2013,” he said.