San Francisco Federal Reserve President John Williams recently said there's a "very strong case" for the Fed to raise interest rates in December if the economy continues to improve. The Fed hasn't hoisted its benchmark rate in nearly 10 years, and it's been near zero since the 2008 financial crisis.

Starting to raise rates sooner rather than later will allow the Fed to push them up gradually and avoid the eventual risk of a run-up in inflation, Williams said. He said that if the economy weakens, "We can....pause".  He stated that inflation has been restrained by temporarily low oil prices and a strong dollar, but he's confident it will accelerate because the economy is already near full employment. He noted markets are accustomed to near-zero rates but doesn't expect a quarter-point bump to have much impact on growth. It can even send a positive signal to consumers and businesses, he said.