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Fed's Williams : Doesn't See Strong Argument to Raise or Lower Rates

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05/22/2019 | 11:00am EDT

By Michael S. Derby

NEW YORK -- Federal Reserve Bank of New York President John Williams said the U.S. economy remains in a "good place" and he sees no reason to change the central bank's interest-rate policy right now.

"I don't see any strong argument...to move interest rates one way or the other," Mr. Williams said Wednesday in a briefing on housing issues held at his bank.

Mr. Williams said he expects the economy to grow just over 2% this year and the 3.6% jobless rate to fall a bit from current levels as the year moves forward. He said worries and risk surrounding the economy have abated a bit since the start of the year.

Mr. Williams also said there is little upward pressure on inflation, although he added underlying inflation pressures are likely close to the Fed's 2% target.

The official said he would like to see inflation move higher and will be closely watching the data to see that recent softness is temporary, as he believes it is likely to be.

Write to Michael S. Derby at michael.derby@wsj.com

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