(Bloomberg) -- Kansas City Fed President Esther George, who is retiring this month, said officials don't want to raise interest rates by so much that policy becomes overly restrictive and the economy can avoid a sharp downturn.
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"This scenario - can there be a soft landing - is one we would all want to see. And there are some possibilities for that. There's still a lot of money sitting in the checking accounts of households," George said in a Bloomberg Television interview with Michael McKee on Friday.
George, whose led the bank since October 2011, is stepping down as required by mandatory retirement rules for Reserve Bank presidents. She won't participate in the upcoming Federal Open Market Committee meeting on Jan. 31 and Feb. 1. A successor hasn't yet been appointed.
Fed officials are mulling a further moderation in the pace of rate hikes following a slowing in US inflation. The central bank has been raising interest rates aggressively to try to cool demand and bring down an inflation rate that has remained near a 40-year high.
Fed officials lifted rates by a half-point last month to a target range of 4.25% to 4.5%, slowing the pace of rate increases after four straight 75 basis point moves. Officials see interest rates rising above 5% this year and staying there until 2024, according to projections released by policymakers last month.
George said she supported the moderation in rate hikes last month and suggested she is wary of tightening too much.
"We are reaching a point I think where it will be important to start looking around corners," she said.
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