Atlanta Fed President Dennis Lockhart, a centrist, said Thursday he would increase interest rates midyear or even later—as the economy throws off “mixed signals” at the moment.
Economic growth in the first quarter looks “very soft,” he told CNBC—held back by the harsh winter weather in February and the fluctuations in oil prices. He did, however, say the rough patch looks “transitory.”
A forecast model from the Atlanta Fed suggested the economy was barely growing in the first quarter, following an unexpectedly steep 1.4 percent drop in durable goods orders in February.
Lockhart made his comments on “Squawk Box,” ahead of an appearance at a Detroit investment education conference. He’s a voting member this year on the central bank’s Federal Open Market Committee policymaking group.
As for the recent selloff in stocks, it shows market sensibilities are fragile right now, he said.
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