Federal Reserve Governor Laurence H. Meyer hinted Thursday that the central bank is likely to raise short-term interest rates when it meets May 20.

Mr. Meyer told the Forecasters Club of New York that the Fed must preemptively raise rates whenever its fears of higher inflation are supported by strong, continued growth.

"It is essential that monetary policy leans against the wind," Mr. Meyer said. "This requires the real interest rate to rise as long as growth is above trend and utilization rates are rising."

First-quarter gross domestic product data, due next week, are expected to exceed the Fed's 3% "speed limit." The Federal Open Market Committee increased the federal funds target rate 25 basis points at its March 25 meeting.

Subscribe Now

Access to authoritative analysis and perspective and our data-driven report series.

14-Day Free Trial

No credit card required. Complete access to articles, breaking news and industry data.