Interest rates will continue a gradual climb, and the outlook has not changed significantly since the last Federal Reserve policy meeting, a top Fed official said Friday amid a new sell-off in stocks.
In prepared remarks in New Jersey, New York Federal Reserve President William Dudley reiterated the central bank's point that future rate increases will depend on economic data. But he noted that recent indicators have been disappointing, adding that global economies pose a risk to the United States.
"In terms of the economic outlook, the situation does not appear to have changed much since the last FOMC meeting," he said. "Some recent activity indicators have been on the softer side, pointing to a relatively weak fourth quarter for real GDP growth."
The text of the speech was released as stocks swooned on Wall Street. (Click here for the latest prices.)
Dudley, a voting member of the Fed's policymaking board, also said energy prices and a strong dollar have raised the risk that the Fed's 2 percent inflation target won't be met. But he contended that core inflation looks stable despite energy.