Senior economics reporter
Philadelphia Fed President Patrick Harker
Philadelphia Fed President Patrick Harker said Thursday he still favors only one more interest-rate hike this year even with fresh data released showing consumer price inflation rising at fastest pace in six years.
In an interview with Bloomberg Television, Harker said he was open to supporting two interest-rate hikes this year, but only if inflation accelerates further.
Consumer prices rose to a 12-month pace of 2.9% in June, the highest level since February 2012. The core rate edged up a more modest 2.3%.
Read: Consumer inflation hits 6-year high, CPI shows
“Right now, I think we should take this slow and steady,” Harker said. If core inflation is “starting to accelerate past 2.5%, then I do think we have to act,” he said. “Absent that, I think there are lots of good reasons to hold off,” he added.
Harker, who is not a voting member of the Fed interest-rate committee this year, said he is “starting to see dynamics in the market that do make you think that inflation will accelerate, but I think I’d like to see a little more evidence” before he would support two more moves this year.
The Fed has already hiked interest-rates twice this year.
The latest Fed “dot plot” from its meeting last month shows the Fed is divided over how many more time to raise rates this year. Eight Fed officials penciled in two or more interest-rate hikes this year while seven projected one or none.
Read: Fed aims for another pair of increases later this year