WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. may be nearing a turn lower in inflation, Atlanta Fed president Raphael Bostic said on Wednesday, though he added he is still leaning towards a slightly faster pace of rate increases this year.

“I am very hopeful we are going to start to see that decline … There is some evidence we are on the cusp of that,” Bostic said in an interview on CNBC.

While Bostic said he still expects just three quarter-point rate increases will be appropriate this year, “I am leaning a little towards four. We are going to have to see how the economy responds as we take our first steps,” with an initial rate increase expected in March.

(Reporting by Howard Schneider; Editing by Andrew Heavens)