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[PHOENIX] The fact that the Federal Reserve is likely to raise interest rates this year is a sign of US economic strength, a top Fed official said on Wednesday. "The economy has enough strength to survive higher interest rates," San Francisco Fed President John Williams said at the start of a panel discussion with Phoenix business leaders.
The Fed is close to "checking the box" on its full employment goal, he said, and while inflation is still too low, it should be close to the Fed's 2 per cent goal by the end of next year. "We are likely to start raising interest rates later this year," Mr Williams said, adding that his rosy assessment of the US economy is "about as optimistic as you ever will hear a Fed person be."