October 5, 2016 / 6:27 PM / 3 years ago

Fed's Lacker says there are signs inflation is heating up

Jeffrey Lacker, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond, arrives at a session "Help or Harm: Central Bank Monetary Policies at the Outer Limits" during NABE Economic Policy Conference in Washington March 5, 2013. REUTERS/Yuri Gripas

HUNTINGTON, WV (Reuters) - Inflation appears to be heating up in the United States, part of a strong case for the Federal Reserve to raise interest rates more quickly, Richmond Fed President Jeffrey Lacker said on Wednesday.

Consumer price increases have been below the Fed’s 2 percent target for more than four years but some policymakers have argued the jobless rate at 4.9 percent is low enough to pressure wages higher, which could in turn lead to faster price gains.

Lacker, who does not have a vote on Fed interest rate policy this year but has argued interest rates need to rise significantly to ward off future inflation, said price gains might now be accelerating.

“There are signs that inflation is heating up,” Lacker told students at Marshall University in Huntington, West Virginia.

Consumer prices other than energy or food, a measure the Fed watches for gauging inflation trends, rose 1.7 percent in the year through August, up from 1.4 percent at the end of 2015.

Reporting by Jason Lange; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama

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