The Federal Reserve hasn't taken more interest rate hikes off the table, but it's likely to be very cautious in the lead up to the U.S. presidential election, Robert Heller, a former Fed governor told CNBC.
"The Fed itself says we'll have four more hikes, but I think they're afraid of their own shadow," Heller told CNBC's Street Signs.
"Whenever it comes to raising rates, they start to back up and they won't do it. So I wouldn't be surprised if there would be only two rate hikes. I expect two or three," said Heller, who was on the board of governors of the Federal Reserve System between 1986 and 1989.
Heller's call followed the Fed's latest meeting Wednesday, where the central bank's statement fueled market expectations that its previously stated goal of about four interest rate hikes this year wasn't likely to come to fruition.
As widely expected, the central bank left rates unchanged but said it was "closely monitoring global economic and financial developments and is assessing their implications for the labor market and inflation, and for the balance of risks to the outlook."