Fed Vice Chair Says Rate Hike 'Warranted' This Year
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Stanley Fischer, the vice chairman of the Federal Reserve, told a crowd at the Economic Club of New York today that a rise in the benchmark interest rate from near zero "likely will be warranted before the end of the year." However, he does not foresee a predictable chain of subsequent hikes due to unexpected events like the ongoing freefall in oil prices. "A smooth path upward in the federal funds rate will almost certainly not be realized," he said. Last week, Fed chair Janet Yellen surprised some economists by indicating that the long awaited rate hike may not come in June as widely expected. [Bloomberg]