Tempe, Ariz. - Now that the United States is closing in on full employment and inflation is likely to rise to target levels, the "next step" should be to start gradually increasing rates, a top U.S. central banker said on Saturday.
"I do think it makes sense to gradually remove the policy of accommodation that helped get the economy to where we are," San Francisco Federal Reserve Bank President John Williams told the Arizona Council on Economic Education.
The comments suggest that Williams, a centrist policymaker who was Fed Chair Janet Yellen's chief researcher when she had his job before moving to Washington, is leaning toward support of a December rate hike.
Asked afterward by a reporter whether that is so, Williams declined to say, adding that he expects "a lot of data" between now and then. "I am going to wait and see on that," he said.