Speaking to CNBC from Jackson Hole, Williams' remarks are of interest because he's considered a dove and his mid-2015 timetable for the first rate hike might be considered slightly ahead of where markets are pricing in the first tightening.
The economy is ready for a rate hike, Kansas City Fed chief Esther George tells CNBC, a remark which shouldn't be a surprise given her hawkish record. The country isn't far from full employment, she says, and some benchmark indicators are signaling rates need to be above zero.
George spoke from Jackson Hole, where tomorrow Fed boss Janet Yellen will make the consortium's keynote address.
The 10-year Treasury yield adds another basis point following the FOMC minutes, now ahead 2.5% bps on the session to 2.43%. Looking at a rate more sensitive to Fed policy, the 5-year note yield jumps 4.5 bps to 1.625%.
The minutes show many committee members believing the labor market is improving faster than anticipated across a whole range of indicators, and the time is getting near for when it can no longer be described as underutilized.
Many members say a range of labor market indicators had improved more in recent months than they had earlier anticipated, according to the minutes of the late July FOMC meeting. "The characterization of labor market underutilization might have to change before long, particularly if progress in the labor market continued to be faster than anticipated."
The committee voted 9-1 to maintain the taper and reiterate its commitment to keep rates lower than normal for longer. Dissenting was Philadelphia Fed boss Charles Plosser, who argued the others are underplaying the improvement in the labor market and the march of inflation towards the 2% target.
"Builders are seeing a noticeable increase in the number of serious buyers entering the market,” says NAHB Chairman Kevin Kelly, after his firm's Housing Market Index rises to 55 this month. Challenges still remain, he adds, noting tight credit, and shortages of finished lots and labor.
The HMI's three sub-components all rose in August, with the current sales conditions and expectations for future sales gauges each ahead by two points to 58 and 65, respectively. The gauge of traffic for prospective buyers added three points to 42.