Both the Federal Open Market Committee and markets are expecting that the federal funds rate will be raised "sometime this year," according to one top Fed official.
Stanley Fischer, vice chair of the Federal Reserve's board of governors and voting member on the Fed's policymaking committee, said Friday that the Fed's balance sheet size could present a challenge, but he still said the FOMC expects to raise rates in 2015.
Speaking at the University of Chicago's annual U.S. Monetary Policy Forum in New York City, Fischer added that he is confident the Fed has the tools available to hike rates.
The Fed's asset purchases provide a significant stimulus to the economy, he said, adding that the effects of quantitative easing are only now manifesting in the economy.
Still the risks from the QE include financial instability, Fischer said.
All told, he estimated that quantitative easing and forward guidance have lowered unemployment by 1.25 percent and upped inflation by 0.5 percent.