Jeffrey Lacker Wants Rates Up

Jeffrey Lacker, President of Richmond Federal Reserve Bank said Friday that the U.S economy is strong enough to significantly raise interest rates, sooner rathen than later.

“The way the data is playing out I think the longer we wait there is a material increase in risks that we run,” Lacker told reporters.

He explained that the longer the Fed waits, the more there is risk that the economy will be strong enough for inflation rates to go above the 2% target projected by the Fed, hurting the organization’s credibility for not raising interest rates on time.

Lacker expressed his views after Fridays jobs report, which some have called disappointing. “I thought it was a fine report, perfectly close enough to expectations,” he told reporters,“I’d call it reasonably strong, given that it came in above a rate you would need to keep up with working-age population growth.”

Lacker is not going to participate in voting process in the Fed until 2018, but does participate in discussions regarding interest rates and other issues discussed by the committee, and thus has influence. 

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