It is time for the Federal Reserve to raise US interest rates gradually, given progress on employment and inflation, Kansas City Fed President Esther George said in television interviews, kicking off a high-profile conference in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, with a cautiously hawkish view.
"But I do think that it would be appropriate to begin the process" of normalizing interest rates, she said. "I don't think that we are going to need to have high interest rates".
Mester said the September meeting of Fed policymakers is a "live" meeting, meaning it's possible a rate increase could be on tap.
She noted, however, that timing isn't the key issue for rate increases.
Porta Advisors Partner Beat Wittmann said emerging markets had stabilized sufficiently to cope with a Fed rate hike next month and some European economies would gain from a further rise.
"But under conditions when we're seeing employment move [higher with] low and stable inflation, I think it's fair to say we could remove some of that accommodation", she said.
Recent jobs reports have also been encouraging.
Ester is on the same page as New York Fed President Bill Dudley who told FOX Business Network earlier this month that the USA economy will be stronger in the coming months.
"The case is strengthening" for a rate hike, Dallas Fed President Robert Kaplan told CNBC television, whose open-air studio here overlooks the craggy peaks of the Grand Teton National Park. "I thought opportunities to begin to cease those reinvestments and let those balance sheet come down naturally would be an opportunity for us", George said, noting that the majority on the Fed policy committee did not support this view.