Philadelphia Federal Reserve President Patrick Harker said Feb. 21 he still supports two rate hikes in 2018 due to a "continued stubbornness" of inflation.
Harker's stance has put him among the most dovish members of the Federal Open Market Committee, though he does not get a vote on the FOMC this year. In December, the median FOMC projection called for three rate hikes in 2018, though observers increasingly expect the central bank could add in another hike if inflation continues to show signs of strengthening.
Harker, though, noted at a speech in Missouri that inflation continues to undershoot the Fed's 2% target.
Inflation, he said, will reach the Fed's goal or perhaps exceed it by the end of 2019. He also predicted the economy will grow by about 2.5% in 2018 and drop down to about 2% the next year, saying that the unemployment rate will also continue dropping until mid-2019.