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Fed’s Mester Strongly Backs U.S. Rate Hike as Prudent First Step

Reuters (01/03/16) Jonathan Spicer; Ann Saphir

Cleveland Fed President Loretta Mester called the U.S. Federal Reserve’s interest rate hike last month a prudent first step to a more normal policy era. The move, she added, signaled the Fed’s growing confidence that the U.S. economy will continue to improve. Mester, a somewhat hawkish policymaker, was also fairly bullish on the economy’s prospects. She forecasts “above trend” gross domestic product growth of 2.5% to 2.75% for the fourth quarter of 2015 and for all of the new year, along with an inflation rebound as the effects of the strong dollar and weak commodities wane.