Fed’s Williams: three or four rate rises this year ‘makes sense’

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A senior Federal Reserve policymaker said that a total of three or “even four” rate increases this year “makes sense” given the overall strength of the economy.

John Williams, head of the San Francisco Fed, told the Wall Street Journal that he reckons “the economy is in a good place right now,” noting that growth is “basically a little bit above trend”.

The central bank increased in benchmark lending rate this month, but held steady its forecast for three rate rises in 2017. The tone of the projection that was perceived as dovish was a factor in pushing Treasury yields down from recent peaks, although that trend reversed course on Thursday.

10-year Treasuries yielded 2.419 per cent, up by 2.3 basis points on the day, but still down sharply from the 2.626 level that was struck on March 13, according to Bloomberg data.

Mr Williams is a non-voting member of the Fed’s policy-setting board this year.

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