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Fed’s Harker expects 25-basis-point rate hikes, but open to 50 basis points

“I have penciled in seven … 25-basis-point increases for this year,” including the one just approved at the U.S. central bank’s March 15-16 policy meeting, Harker said in comments to the Center for Financial Stability in New York. If there is no improvement in inflation data, “I am open to sending a strong signal with a 50-basis-point increase at the next meeting,” Harker said, adding that new coronavirus restrictions in China could throw a “wrench” into global supply chains and add inflation pressure beyond what’s coming from the war in Ukraine and other factors. Harker’s comments put him among the five policymakers who see the Fed’s benchmark overnight interest rate rising to a range between 1.75% and 2% this year, which is also the median projection of all Fed policymakers as of the March meeting.

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