Federal Reserve

Chicago Fed's Evans: Failure of GOP's health-care bill 'adds to uncertainties' in US

Charles Evans, president of Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
Melody Hahm | CNBC

Chicago Federal Reserve President Charles Evans said Monday that inflation looks "well on its way" to reaching U.S. economic objectives.

Yet many uncertainties remain, particularly with the latest failure of the GOP's proposal to repeal and replace Obamacare, Evans warned.

During a speech at the Global Interdependence Center Central Banking Series held in Madrid on Monday, Evans said he still worries long-term inflation expectations are running below the Fed's 2 percent inflation objective.

The Fed's target for inflation has been increasingly difficult to achieve in the post-recession climate, despite the central bank holding rates low and expanding its balance sheet.

Further, in order for four rate hikes to happen in 2017, Evans said the U.S. economy "would need to see meaningful increases in long-term inflation expectations." He said he doesn't have confidence there will be four rate increases in 2017, and three increases are "plausible," but two rate hikes are "also possible."

In December, Fed officials indicated that three rate hikes would likely occur in 2017. At its March meeting, the Federal Reserve increased its benchmark interest rate a quarter point, marking the second hike in three months.

Meanwhile, uncertainties remain "pretty high" in the U.S., Evans said Monday during a discussion that focused on current economic conditions and monetary policy.

This week, eleven speeches are scheduled to take place from nine of the Federal Reserve's Open Market Committee's twelve members. Fed Chair Janet Yellen will hold her keynote speech to a conference in D.C. on Thursday morning. Chicago Fed President Evans has three events happening this week.