Fed’s Mester Says Keep Up the ‘Gradual’ Pace on Rate Hikes

Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland President Loretta Mester urged her colleagues to look past recent weak inflation data and to stick to their gradual pace of lifting interest rates, with one more increase projected before the end of this year.

“There’s some risk that if we wait too long we can find ourselves in a bad spot,” Mester said in interview with Michael McKee on Bloomberg Television recorded on Saturday on the sidelines of the Fed’s annual retreat in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. “We have to move policy a little bit before we get to the goals or else we’re going to get behind.”

Mester also said she favors beginning the run-down of the central bank’s $4.5 trillion balance sheet “soon.” Economists expect the Fed to make an announcement on the timing of that process after their Sept. 19-20 meeting in Washington.

Fed officials are grappling with a recent spate of

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