WASHINGTON—Three influential Federal Reserve officials said the central bank could raise short-term interest rates at its meeting next month, pushing back against investors who put low odds on such a move.
San Francisco Fed President John Williams and Atlanta Fed President Dennis Lockhart both said Tuesday that the central bank’s June meeting is “live,” meaning officials could consider lifting rates.
“I think that the data to my mind are lining up to make a good case for rate increases in the next few meetings, not just June, which means it’s very live in terms of that,” Mr. Williams said Tuesday in an interview here with reporters and editors of The Wall Street Journal.
Mr. Lockhart, appearing later with Mr. Williams at an event hosted by Politico, said of a June rate increase, “I wouldn’t take it off the table.”
Dallas Fed President Robert Kaplan later during an event in Midland, Texas, called for rate increases “in the not-too-distant future” and said he may advocate for a move in June or July.
Their comments are significant because all three men tend to represent the consensus view among policy makers, even though they aren’t currently voting members of the Fed’s rate-setting committee. While they didn’t call for raising rates in June, their remarks suggest that they want to keep their options open and that markets are underestimating the possibility of such a move.