NEW YORK, March 3 Federal Reserve policymakers
who have recently signaled a pending U.S. interest rate rise
have been acknowledging growing confidence and aggregate demand
in the economy and stock market since the U.S. election, the
Fed's vice chairman said on Friday.
"If there has been a conscious effort (to raise expectations
for a rate hike) I'm about to join it," Stanley Fischer told an
economists' forum, when asked about comments by other Fed
officials this past week that have boosted market odds of a
March rate hike.
"What my colleagues have been saying is correct," added
Fischer. "If you look at what's been happening to the economy
since November 8 (election) ... and to the asset markets, and if
you take into account the operation of what people of my age
call 'animal spirits' ... you will realize that there has been a
substantial wealth effect in this economy."
(Reporting by Jonathan Spicer; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)