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Fed's Lacker says it's ok to return to zero after rate hike

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The Federal Reserve should feel comfortable lowering rates even after hiking them, a top Fed official said on Friday, adding that there was no"humiliation" in having to re-adjust policy if the data demands it.

[SARASOTA] The Federal Reserve should feel comfortable lowering rates even after hiking them, a top Fed official said on Friday, adding that there was no"humiliation" in having to re-adjust policy if the data demands it.

"If we were to raise rates, and then subsequently reduce them to zero, it might be unexpected, but presumably we're setting rates where we ought to be," Richmond Fed President Jeffrey Lacker said in a question and answer session to reporters after a speech here. "I don't see it as problematic to reduce rates having raised them once."

Mr Lacker has called for the central bank to consider raising interest rates at its June meeting.

Mr Lacker said in the session with reporters that there was a "pretty substantial amount" of support for a June rate hike at the March Fed policy setting meeting.

The minutes of the March meeting, released earlier this week, said that "several participants" indicated they expected upcoming economic data would warrant an initial rate increase that month.

REUTERS