Comments from Cleveland Fed President Mester on Fox Business:

  • Timing of lift off will depend on economic data
  • US economy is on a very firm footing
  • Data supports view of acceleration in US economy
  • US has made considerable progress on hiring
  • Oil price drop a net positive for the US
  • Fed has no predetermined plan on pace of rate rise

The first half of the year would mean before June. That comment isn’t a big surprise and she did a nice job emphasizing data dependency.

For me, what stands out is the oil comment. That means the Fed is going to look through disinflation this year and hike anyway — for better or worse.