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Fed's Fisher comfortable running inflation a bit high: FT

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One of the US Federal Reserve's most hawkish policymakers said he would be comfortable running inflation a bit above a 2-per cent target for a while as long as longer-term expectations remain stable, according to a newspaper interview.

[WASHINGTON] One of the US Federal Reserve's most hawkish policymakers said he would be comfortable running inflation a bit above a 2-per cent target for a while as long as longer-term expectations remain stable, according to a newspaper interview.

With the Fed's preferred measure of inflation around 1.5 per cent, Dallas Fed President Richard Fisher said he doesn't see a risk now. "I can see us lifting up gradually to the 2 per cent target. I can see us even running over that for a little while," he was quoted as saying in the Financial Times.

"I think we should have a symmetrical view around 2 per cent," he added. "A little bit below doesn't bother me, particularly if it's supply driven. A tiny bit above, as long as expectations stay in place, wouldn't bother me."

Mr Fisher, who is set to retire early next year, has long advocated an earlier interest-rate rise than the majority of his colleagues at the US central bank, who see the tightening starting around the middle of next year. The Fed has kept rates near zero since 2008 to boost employment and, more recently, to lift inflation.

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Mr Fisher added that, ideologically, Fed policymakers are "much closer together" today than in the past.

REUTERS

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