Rate-hike guidance should remain cloudy, says Fed's Williams

Benjamin Chiou Sharecast | 11 May, 2015 16:21 - Updated: 16:46 | | |

John Williams

The Federal Reserve should not give financial markets an exact timing on the first increase in interest rates, according to the president of the San Francisco Fed John Williams.

"My personal preference is that we don't have the most telegraphed policy decisions in history, as we did in 2004," he said in an interview with CNBC on Monday.

He added that the Fed shouldn't make a decision on rates two or three months in advance, but should analyse economic data "right up until its policy meeting and make its decision then".

Williams, a voting member of the Federal Open Market Committee, said recent figures on the US labour market have shown "good momentum".

The jobs report out last Friday showed that the US economy added 223,000 non-farm payrolls in April while the jobless rate fell to a seven-year low of 5.4%.

Williams saw unemployment below 5% in a year's time, with inflation moving back towards 2%.

The policymaker explained that weak economic growth seen in the first quarter of 2015 was "more an anomaly than a signal of where the economy is going".

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