February 22, 2017 / 7:05 PM / in 8 months

Rate hike 'relatively soon,' Fed watching March data: Powell

NEW YORK (Reuters) - It will be appropriate for the Federal Reserve to raise interest rates “perhaps relatively soon,” and U.S. central bankers will be watching economic data between now and a policy meeting in mid-March, Fed Governor Jerome Powell said on Wednesday.

Federal Reserve Governor Jerome Powell attends a conference at the Brookings Institution in Washington August 3, 2015. REUTERS/Carlos Barria

“I would say the economy is performing right about as expected, maybe a little better,” Powell said. “If that continues my view would be that it will be appropriate to raise the federal funds rate perhaps reasonably soon.”

He added: “There’s also data coming in - there’s spending data, there’s inflation data, there’s a big jobs report between now and the March meeting. We’re going to be looking at those.”

Reporting by Jonathan Spicer; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama

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