By Geoffrey Smith
Investing.com -- The Federal Reserve may need to raise interest rates by a full percentage point at its next meeting, Fed Governor Chris Waller said on Thursday.
Waller said in a speech in Idaho that while his 'base case' for the next Federal Open Market Committee meeting was a hike of 75 basis points, he was open to a larger move if the economic data warrant it. He pointed to upcoming numbers for retail sales in June, as well as data from the housing market, which has been an area of particular concern for the Fed this year.
"If that data come in materially stronger than expected it would make me lean towards a larger hike at the July meeting to the extent it shows demand is not slowing down fast enough to get inflation down," Waller said.
Waller - who is among the more hawkish of the Fed's Washington-based board of governors - is the first senior Fed official to suggest that such a dramatic increase could be on the cards for the meeting, which starts on July 26th. Short-term money market futures currently reflected perceptions that a 75 basis point hike is the likeliest outcome.
The Fed raised the target rate for fed funds by 75 basis points at its last meeting . That was its most extreme monetary tightening action since 1994. Calls for the Fed to do more to bring inflation under control have gotten louder since then, especially since Wednesday's news that consumer price inflation topped 9% in June for the first time since 1981.
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