Fed's Williams says U.S. rate rise likely this year, economy to bounce back
By Masayuki Kitano and Saeed Azhar
SINGAPORE (Reuters) - San Francisco Fed President John Williams said on Thursday the Fed was likely to raise interest rates later this year, adding that he expects above-trend U.S. growth for the rest of 2015 after a weak first quarter.
Asked by reporters in Singapore about the possible timing of a U.S. rate hike, Williams said the subject is "on the table" at every meeting of the Federal Open Market Committee, whether the next one at June 16-17 or later ones.
"We're going to be...likely raising interest rates later this year, raising them gradually over the next few years," Williams said during a Q&A session with the audience after delivering a speech at a symposium.
The Fed's post-meeting policy statement in April had put in place a meeting-by-meeting approach on the timing of its first rate hike since June 2006, making such a decision solely dependent on incoming economic data.
"I have an FOMC meeting coming up in several weeks. I don't need to make decisions today. Collect some more data, get some more information, have discussions and analysis," Williams said.
"Data-dependent means nothing is baked in the cake or locked in," he added.
FIRST QUARTER 'ANOMALY' Continued...