MONTGOMERY, Ala., Nov 14 (Reuters) - One of the Federal Reserve's newest policymakers said on Tuesday he still backs a December interest-rate hike and that he would need to see further weakness in U.S. inflation and local signs of economic weakness to cause him to shelve expectations for gradual policy tightening.
"I'm still in that place," Atlanta Fed President Raphael Bostic said of backing a December rate hike. "I'm going to stay open (minded) but right now I'm in a place where I'm comfortable with the notion of continuing to go on our pace of a more balanced monetary policy."
Asked by a reporter what would change his mind and cause him to want to pause the tightening cycle, he said: "A continued weakening in the aggregate number (and) signs across our district that businesses are feeling that the economy is really different and weaker, and that's something I am not hearing." (Reporting by Jonathan Spicer; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)