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Official: Global Markets Seem Ready for an Interest Rate Hike

  • VOA News

FILE - St. Louis Federal Reserve President James Bullard speaks at a public lecture in Singapore, May 26, 2016.

FILE - St. Louis Federal Reserve President James Bullard speaks at a public lecture in Singapore, May 26, 2016.

A U.S. Federal Reserve Bank president said Monday the global markets seem to be poised for an interest rate hike this summer.

James Bullard, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Saint Louis, said his outlook was not "too surprising" since signs are pointing to a second quarter rebound in the U.S. gross domestic product, the value of all goods and services produced in the U.S.

Bullard's remarks, made at an international conference in Seoul, South Korea, follow revised data Friday from the U.S. Commerce Department that the economy expanded faster than previously thought in the first three months of this year.

He declined to say whether the Federal Reserve Bank, the central banking system of the U.S., should raise interest rates in June or July. Officials from the Fed's twelve regional banks will meet on June 15.

The Fed most recently raised interest rates in December of last year, the first time the bank had done so in nearly a decade.

Interest rates remain unusually low after they were slashed during the 2008 financial crisis in a bid to boost economic growth. The economy's sputtering and uneven recovery has experts debating how soon and how much rates should rise. Raising them too soon could cause the economy to slide back into a recession. Waiting too long to raise rates could cause inflation that could hurt the economy.

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