(Adds comment on rate outlook)
ST. LOUIS, Sept 29 Federal Reserve Governor
Jerome Powell said on Thursday the U.S. economy is in "solid
shape" but that the Fed can be patient in approving any interest
rate increase because of the weak global environment.
"We can continue to be patient," Powell said. "We are in a
global environment in which growth is weak and there are
Powell did not say if he expected rates to rise this year,
either at the Fed's November or December meetings. But a core of
14 of the Fed's 17 members released forecasts last week saying
they felt at least one rate increase would be appropriate by
Powell said he agreed that if the economy continues on its
current course, the Fed should raise rates gradually.
If current trends to continue, "the correct path going
forward will be a path of gradual rate increases. That will all
depend on the economy continuing to perform well," he said at a
community banking conference.
(Reporting by Howard Schneider; Editing by Meredith Mazzilli)