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Fed's Moskow Says Rate Hikes Could Still Be Needed

Chicago Federal Reserve President Michael Moskow said additional rate increases could still be needed to tamp down inflation.

Answering questions from reporters after a speech, Moskow said not to read anything into the absence of a policy comment fom his speech, after making several speeches in late 2006
that specifically mentioned the possibility of rate hikes.

"Certainly, additional firming may still be needed," Moskow said, adding that he "would never forecast what the (Federal Open Market) Committee was going to do."

Moskow, a voting member of the interest rate-setting FOMC this year, said the inflation outlook was still an "intangible."

"We've had a couple of good months of inflation data" but he didn't know if they will continue or not, he said.

Housing remains a downside risk to the U.S. economy, and it is "an open question" as to when it stabilizes, Moskow said.