The Fed: Fed’s Harker: Stronger outlook calls for three rate hikes this year

Philadelphia Fed President Patrick Harker

Philadelphia Fed President Patrick Harker on Wednesday said three rate hikes would be appropriate this year, one more than he favored last month.

Harker said the basic reason for pushing for a third rate hike is the strengthening outlook. The unemployment rate could fall as low as the 3.5% range in 2019, he said. And inflation should hit the Fed’s 2% target in the same time frame.

The Philadelphia Fed president, who is not a voting member of the Fed’s interest-rate committee this year, forecast above-trend GDP growth of 2.6% rate this year, slowing down to a 2.4% rate next year.

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