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Fed’s Brainard Says Interest-Rate Hike Likely Appropriate ‘Soon’

  • U.S. economy looks to be ‘in transition,’ she says at Harvard
  • Fed close to reaching full employment, inflation goals
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Fed's Brainard Sees Fed Rate Hike Soon

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One of the Federal Reserve’s biggest skeptics about the strength of the global expansion signaled the U.S. economy may be strong enough to withstand an interest-rate increase soon, as key policy makers coalesce around tightening at their next meeting in mid-March.

“Assuming continued progress, it will likely be appropriate soon to remove additional accommodation, continuing on a gradual path,” Fed Governor Lael Brainard said in the text of a speech Wednesday at Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts. “We are closing in on full employment, inflation is moving gradually toward our target, foreign growth is on more solid footing and risks to the outlook are as close to balanced as they have been in some time.”