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Fed's Waller: need aggressive rate hikes now while economy can take it

·1 min read
Federal Reserve Board Building in Washington

(Reuters) - If the Federal Reserve is able to keep the unemployment rate below 5%, it can be aggressive on bringing down inflation but after that tradeoffs will appear, Fed Governor Christopher Waller said on Friday.

"If the unemployment were to stay under 5%, I think we could be really aggressive on inflation. Once it gets over 5 there are going to be obvious pressures to start making tradeoffs. If we don't get inflation down, we're in trouble," Waller said in remarks following a speech to the Institute for Advanced Studies in Austria.

The Fed should be aggressive with rate hikes while the economy "can take a punch," he said.

(Reporting by Lindsay Dunsmuir and Ann Saphir; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)