Federal Reserve Governor Jerome Powell said Thursday an interest rate hike could be appropriate fairly soon, adding that he supports gradual increases if data underpin forecasts for an improving economy.
In prepared remarks from Washington, Powell said he wants to see "significant strengthening" in second-quarter economic growth. He added that he sees the U.S. economy moving toward maximum employment and stable prices, with an oil price rally and weaker dollar helping inflation toward the Fed's 2 percent goal.
"If incoming data continue to support those expectations, I would see it as appropriate to continue to gradually raise the federal funds rate. Depending on the incoming data and the evolving risks, another rate increase may be appropriate fairly soon," he said at the Peterson Institute for International Economics.
Powell is a voter on the Fed's policymaking committee.