CHICAGO (Reuters) - Chicago Fed President Charles Evans on Friday said he is optimistic about U.S. economic growth and expects inflation to return to the Fed's 2-percent goal over the next two or three years.

But with weak global growth and "tremendous" uncertainty, downside risks remain, Evans said at the annual American Economic Association meeting.

Evans, who votes this year on the Fed's policy-setting panel, said that while he is hopeful that non-monetary policymakers can boost growth, if they do so without underlying structural improvements to productivity higher inflation could result.

(Reporting by Ann Saphir and Jason Lange; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)


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