Downplaying job losses, Fed officials eye December rate hike

AUSTIN, Texas/NEW YORK (Reuters) – Chocking up employment losses last month to the temporary hit of a severe hurricane season and reiterating expectations that inflation will strengthen, Federal Reserve policymakers on Friday signaled they continue to see gradual U.S. interest-rate hikes ahead.

“Even though inflation is currently somewhat below our longer-run objective, I judge that it is still appropriate to continue to remove monetary policy accommodation gradually,” said New York Fed President William Dudley, whose regular meetings with Fed Chair Janet Yellen and constant contact with Wall Street banks bolster his influence among Fed policymakers.

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