“Every FOMC meeting is on the table”: Fed’s Williams

May 12, 2015

New York, New York — Reiterating that all policy decisions will be data-driven, John C. Williams, president and CEO of the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, said today that the economy’s solid footing convinced him that rates should be raised before inflation reaches the Fed’s 2 percent target.

“As I have made possibly overly-clear, the exact timing will be driven by the data. They may push us a little in one direction or the other, and there will be a lot of discussion and debate,” he said. “Every FOMC meeting is on the table. That’s what it means to be data dependent.”

Citing the lags between the implementation of monetary policy and its full effects, Williams said that failing to raise rates in time could require a dramatic rate-hike to reverse course. “The decision to raise rates is actually three decisions: Not just when, but how quickly and how high,” he said. “I see a safer course in a gradual increase, and that calls for starting a bit earlier.”

In the remarks, made to the New York Association for Business Economics, Williams said that despite the disappointing Q1 numbers, he continues to be encouraged by the economy’s underlying momentum.  “My bottom line on the economy is: The fundamentals are sound.”

Matthew Schiffgens
Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco
(415) 974-3246

The Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, with branch offices in Los Angeles, Seattle, Salt Lake City, and Portland, and a cash processing office in Phoenix, provides wholesale banking services to financial institutions throughout the nine western states. As the nation’s central bank, the Federal Reserve System formulates monetary policy, serves as a bank regulator, administers certain consumer protection laws, and is fiscal agent for the U.S. government. Follow us on Twitter at twitter.com/sffed.