Fed’s Mester: ‘Time Is Near’ for U.S. Rate Increase

Accelerating inflation and strong employment growth are pushing the U.S. economy close to the point where it can support higher interest rates, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland President Loretta Mester said.

“If the data comes in according to my forecasts then the time is near where we’re going to be wanting to raise rates,” Mester said Monday in an interview in Reykjavik, Iceland.

The Fed’s rate-setting committee will go into its June meeting with an “open mind” about whether to raise the central bank’s benchmark rate, Mester said after delivering a speech at a conference on the financial system.