Fed’s Evans Sees Only Two 2017 Hikes If Uncertainty Lingers

Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago President Charles Evans said two interest-rate increases may be the right amount of tightening for the U.S. economy this year given uncertainty surrounding the outlook for inflation and government spending.

“To the extent that I gain more confidence in the forecast I have, that would be a good indicator that I could perhaps support three,” Evans said Monday in a Bloomberg Television interview from Madrid with Michael McKee. “Two might be the right number if there’s a little bit more uncertainty.”

The stock market has slumped and bond yields declined after the failure of President Donald Trump and his Republican Party to advance health-care legislation last week raised questions about his pro-growth policies. Investors have also pared back their expectations for rate increases this year and now see a third hike by the end of 2017 as unlikely, according to pricing in federal funds futures.

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