Hiking the federal funds rate does not seem appropriate until next year in the wake of weak first-quarter economic data, a top Federal Reserve official said Monday.
First-quarter struggles for the U.S. economy make monetary policy tightening more feasible sometime in early 2016, said Charles Evans, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, in prepared remarks in Columbus, Indiana on Monday.
The Commerce Department said last Wednesday that the U.S. economy expanded at a 0.2 percent annual rate.
First-quarter weakness looked "transitory," he said, echoing the sentiment in the Federal Open Market Committee's most recent statement.
Evans is a voting member of the Fed's policy making committee.