(Bloomberg) -- Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta President Raphael Bostic said it will likely be appropriate to lower interest rates in the fourth quarter, emphasizing the bumpy nature of inflation progress. 

Bostic reiterated his expectation for just one rate cut this year, pointing to the strength of the economy and a slower decline in inflation. The Atlanta Fed chief is a voting member of the Fed’s policy-setting committee this year. 

“I think it will be appropriate for us to start moving down at the end of this year, the fourth quarter,” Bostic said in an interview with CNBC. “If that trajectory slows down in terms of inflation, then we’re going to have to be more patient than I think many have expected.”

Policymakers narrowly maintained their outlook for three cuts this year, according to the median projection. Of the 19 officials, nine anticipated two or fewer reductions. The central bank held interest rates steady at a more than two-decade high at their March meeting.

Bostic said inflation hasn’t moved very much as of late and that he is concerned by some secondary measures in the price figures. And while he isn’t hearing of many cracks in employment from his contacts, he signaled a negative turn in the labor market could impact his call for just one cut.

“If employment starts to degrade, then I will have to take that on board,” Bostic said. 

The government’s monthly jobs report, released Friday, is anticipated to show employers added 214,000 jobs in March. Economists see the unemployment rate ebbing to a historically low 3.8%.

(Adds additional comments from Bostic.)

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