Chicago Federal Reserve President Charles Evans said on Monday it may be worthwhile for the U.S. central bank to wait until year-end to decide whether to raise rates again.
Given the recent softening in inflation data, "I don't see why we would not be served to allow more time to wait," Evans told reporters after his speech before the Money Marketeers of New York University.
In earlier prepared remarks, Evans said with inflation stubbornly soft despite a 16-year low in the U.S. unemployment rate, the Federal Reserve should move only slowly to raise interest rates and trim its massive bond portfolio.
"I don't want to get hung up over small differences" between whether the Fed raises rates two, three or four times over the course of 2017, Evans said in remarks prepared for delivery to Money Marketeers of New York University. "The important feature is that the current environment supports very gradual rate hikes and slow preset reductions in our balance sheet."
Repeating much of a similar talk he gave in May, Evans said that while the Fed had essentially achieved its goal of full employment, it has had a "serious policy outcome miss" on its other goal of 2 percent inflation.