Fed's Lacker says four rate hikes in 2016 would be 'gradual'

Jeffrey Lacker, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond, participates in a session titled, "Help or Harm: Central Bank Monetary Policies at the Outer Limits" NABE Economic Policy Conference in Washington March 5, 2013. REUTERS/Yuri Gripas

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (Reuters) - Federal Reserve forecasts pointing to four interest rate hikes in 2016 show what the U.S. central bank means when it says it anticipates raising rates at a "gradual pace," Richmond Fed President Jeffrey Lacker said on Friday.

"That's half the rate at which we raised rates in the last tightening cycle. So that's what 'gradual' means to me," Lacker told reporters in Charlotte, North Carolina after appearing on a panel.

(Reporting by Jason Lange in Charlotte, North Carolina; Editing by Paul Simao)