The Federal Reserve's second-in-command implies changes in interest rates will be less predictable going forward, but confirms they are likely coming later this year. Bobbi Rebell reports.
Higher rates are on the map- but the path to them is still not certain. That was the message from Federal Reserve Vice Chairman Stanley Fischer- who spoke at the Economic Club of New York. SOUNDBITE: FEDERAL RESERVE VICE CHAIRMAN STANLEY FISCHER (ENGLISH) SAYING: "Whatever the state of the economy, the federal funds rate will be set at each FOMC meeting," The Fed's second-in-command appeared to lay the groundwork for a less predictable future of monetary policy, where economic data and unexpected geo-political risks could prompt the Fed to raise, or lower rates on the run. In upbeat remarks, Fischer cited significant economic progress and a labor market that was nearing full employment. But he said that the strong dollar may offset some benefits of monetary accommodation. And less than a week after Fed Chair Janet Yellen signaled the central bank would not be prepared to move on rates until later in the year, Fischer said that it is well expected the rate will lift off before the end of this year. Saying the tightening would come: SOUNDBITE: FEDERAL RESERVE VICE CHAIRMAN STANLEY FISCHER (ENGLISH) SAYING: "When there has been further improvement in the labor market and we are reasonably confident that inflation will move back to our 2 percent objective over the medium term." But for now, inflation is nowhere near that target, with consumer prices expected to have risen just 2-tenths of a percent in February.