March 24, 2017 / 3:26 PM / 4 months ago

Delicate hikes needed to avoid U.S. inflation jump -Fed's Dudley

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NEW YORK, March 24 (Reuters) - The Federal Reserve's delicate interest-rate hikes are necessary given the economy is stable and any further fall in unemployment could lead to an inflation run-up, one of the most influential U.S. central bankers said on Friday.

"The economy is at a pretty good place right now and ... we are pretty close to full employment. You could probably push that unemployment rate a bit lower, but if you did you'd probably start to have an inflation problem." William Dudley, president of the New York Fed, told students and faculty at York College of The City University of New York.

"It's a delicate adjustment, not something that is very harsh, and we think it's appropriate and necessary," he said of the current monetary tightening. "I think the economy will be able to adjust to this just fine." (Reporting by Jonathan Spicer)

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