(Adds more comments)
Sept 29 With inflation expectations anchored and
inflation itself running below the Federal Reserve's 2-percent
target, there is no rush to raise interest rates, Minneapolis
Fed President Neel Kashkari said on Thursday.
"There does not appear to be any urgency to raise rates when
inflation is coming up low," Kashkari said at a town hall
meeting in Rapid City, South Dakota.
Kashkari does not have a vote this year on Fed policy but
takes part in its regular policy-setting meetings. Waiting too
long to raise rates, he said, is less risky than raising rates
too soon, because the Fed has the tools to tamp down inflation
should it rise too high.
Last week the Fed decided to leave rates unchanged and give
the economy more time to create jobs and for inflation to rise.
Most Fed officials believe it will be appropriate to raise rates
by December, although Kashkari has not indicated when he prefers
to see a rate hike.
On Thursday he said he believed that while economic growth
is still quite sluggish, there are no alarm bells in the data
suggesting a recession is imminent.
If one were to happen, he said, the Fed has plenty of
ammunition to fight it, and would likely not need to resort to
reducing interest rates to below zero, as the central banks of
several other countries have tried.
Politics does not factor at all into the Fed's decisions,
"I am agreeing with people in terms of interest rates who I
shouldn't be agreeing with, if it were up to politics," said
Kashkari, who ran as a Republican for California governor and
was an appointee to the Treasury by a Republican president.
Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump has accused Fed
Chair Janet Yellen of keeping interest rates low to benefit
President Barack Obama, who appointed her.
(Reporting by Ann Saphir; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)