(Reuters) - The Federal Reserve should be able to hike U.S. interest rates "in the not too distant future" because of progress, though sometimes slow, on employment and inflation, a top Fed official said on Thursday.

"The case is strengthening" for a rate hike, Dallas Fed President Robert Kaplan said on CNBC TV. "And you should conclude from that in the not too distant future ... I think we're moving toward being able to take another step," he said, adding that such a move would depend on continued economic progress.

(Reporting by Jonathan Spicer Editing by W Simon)