Fed’s Williams: 2015 Rate Hike “Appropriate”

September 19, 2015

Armonk, New York – Speaking the Saturday after the FOMC declined to raise the federal funds rate at its September meeting, John C. Williams, president and CEO of the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, reiterated his view that 2015 remains the appropriate year for a rate hike.

In an address to a symposium on China and U.S. financial systems, the policymaker outlined the arguments on both sides of the “patience versus action” debate, citing economic turmoil overseas and persistently low inflation as the case for patience, and the lags in monetary policy and the safer course of a gradual, longer rise.

“In the past, I have found the arguments for greater patience to clearly outweigh those for raising rates. The labor market was still far from full strength and the risk to the recovery’s momentum was very real. As the economy closed in on full employment, the other side of the ledger started gaining greater weight and the arguments have moved into closer balance.”

“(G)iven the progress we’ve made and continue to make on our goals, I view the next appropriate step as gradually raising interest rates, most likely starting sometime later this year.”

Rob Sholars
Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco
(415) 722-6909

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.