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Fed's Evans says FOMC could look at rate hike in June

Chicago Federal Reserve Bank President Charles Evans speaks during the Sasin Bangkok Forum July 9, 2012. REUTERS/Sukree Sukplang

STOCKHOLM (Reuters) - The Federal Reserve could look at a rate hike in June if the economy is strong enough, Chicago Fed President Charles Evans said in the Swedish capital on Monday.

Evans, who in his speech argued for rates to start rising in early 2016, told reporters if the FOMC had confidence that inflation was going to move up and that first quarter economic softness was temporary, "you could imagine a case being made for a rate increase in June".

"I think we are going to go meeting-by-meeting to make that decision," Evans, a voter this year on Fed policy and among the most dovish of U.S. central bankers, said after taking part in a panel debate.

The Fed's policymaking Federal Open Market Committee meets next on June 16-17.

(Reporting by Simon Johnson, Daniel Dickson and Johan Sennero; Editing by Kevin Liffey)