(Bloomberg) — Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta President Dennis Lockhart said he favors raising interest rates this month, adding to signs that the central bank will proceed with its first increase since 2006.
“Absent information that drastically changes the economic picture and outlook, I feel the case for liftoff is compelling,” Lockhart said Wednesday in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
See also: The Flip Side of Low Interest Rates
The Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) is considering tightening policy at its next meeting Dec. 15-16 as the economy expands and the labor market shows signs of continued progress. Payrolls are estimated to have increased by 200,000 last month and the unemployment rate stayed at 5 percent, according to economists surveyed prior to the government report on Friday.
The Atlanta Fed official, a voting member of the FOMC this year, said employment gains have clearly met the committee’s desire for further improvement as a criterion for liftoff.