Dec 8 (Reuters) - A top Federal Reserve official whose views are seen as in line with those of the U.S. central bank's core policymakers signaled Monday he views mid-2015 as a "reasonable guess" on when the Fed could be expected to start raising interest rates.
The Fed reiterated in October it plans to keep rates at their current near-zero level for a "considerable time," and is expected to debate that forward guidance when policymakers meet next week.
"Personally, on my own, I think 'considerable time' captures about as best you can with two words ...the appropriate time for lift-off," San Francisco Fed President John Williams said in an interview with Market News International.
Mid-2015 is "still a considerable time in the future," he said, according to MNI. "To my mind we really just want to make sure that people understand that, at least in my view, it's not appropriate to start raising interest rates anytime soon."
The timing of the Fed's interest-rate hikes will be driven by economic data, and will be a "gradual process," he said. (Reporting by Ann Saphir; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)