(Bloomberg) -- Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago President Charles Evans said he’s hopeful the path for interest rates the central bank laid out last month will still be enough to bring inflation down, despite a worse-than-expected report on consumer prices last week.

“Unfortunately, at the moment, inflation is just much too high, and so we need to continue on the path that we’ve been indicating -- at least that. And I’m hopeful that that will be enough,” Evans told reporters Wednesday after speaking at an event in Charlottesville, Virginia.

The Fed has aggressively raised its benchmark interest rate this year from nearly zero to just above 3% in a bid to curb the highest inflation in four decades. Officials signaled after their last policy meeting in September that they expected to raise the rate to just above 4.5% in 2023.

Evans warned that avoiding a downturn is a “closer call” than usual, adding that if the central bank has to tighten more than policymakers envisioned in the Summary of Economic Projections they published after the September meeting, it could tip the economy into a recession.

Investors currently expect a fourth straight rate hike of three-quarters of a percentage point -- triple the usual size -- at the next meeting on Nov. 1-2, and a peak rate of 4.9% early next year, according to prices in financial futures markets. 

Those expectations were bolstered by an Oct. 13 Labor Department report that showed US consumer prices excluding food and energy rose 6.6% in the 12 months through September. That marked a second month of acceleration in the widely tracked measure, following several months of moderation.

“Continued increases in the funds rate along the lines of our September SEP could lead to a economic outlook where we’re going to see below-trend growth -- we’ll be challenged in that regard -- we’ll see the unemployment rate go up, but I think that it won’t take off,” Evans said.

“I think if we have to increase the path of the funds rate much more, though, it really does begin to weigh on the economy. I worry that it’s sort of a nonlinear kind of event.”

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