Atlanta Federal Reserve bank president Dennis Lockhart said on Wednesday that the United States remains on track for a likely interest rate hike in the June to September period, with a weak first quarter likely to give way to stronger growth.
"The weakness of the first quarter got my attention. I still believe the factors are transitory," Lockhart told reporters at a monetary policy conference here. "We will see a pick-up."
Fed policymakers and many analysts cut their U.S. growth projections after a first-quarter slowdown that stemmed in part from the hit U.S. energy companies are taking from low oil prices, and the hit exporters are taking from a strong dollar.
Fed officials say they remain convinced that the economy has enough underlying strength for the recovery to continue, and that cheap oil will ultimately be a boon to the economy, felt through increased consumer spending and higher company profits.