Tags: Fed | Inflation | Target | Growth

St. Louis Fed Chief Bullard: 2 Percent Inflation Target Is Paying Off in Growth

Tuesday, 17 Apr 2012 11:56 AM

The Federal Reserve was neither "hawkish" nor "dovish" when it set a formal inflation target, and such a move would make sense even if the U.S. central bank had a single mandate, a top Fed official said.

St. Louis Fed President James Bullard didn't comment specifically on monetary policy ahead of next week's Fed policy meeting in Washington.

Instead, he defended the Fed's decision in January to target a 2-percent inflation rate.

Editor's Note: Economist Unapologetically Calls Out Bernanke, Obama for Mishandling Economy. See What They Did

"Much of the discussion about the dual mandate is, in my view, really about the nature of the Fed's reaction function to economic events," he said in a statement before addressing the Utah State University Jon M. Huntsman School of Business. "Inflation targeting is consistent with hawks, doves and even bubbles."

"Generally the economy is improving, repairing from a very big shock that has done a lot of damage. It could be many years before we recover," Bullard said in a press conference after the lecture.

"I still think that the economy is on track for now, and the best thing to do is gather more information and see if the improvement in the economy we’ve seen in 2012 can sustain itself. I think it’s possible that we’ll get 3 percent growth in the economy this year."

Bullard, who doesn't have a vote on the Fed's policy-setting panel this year, is a centrist in the spectrum of policymakers that ranges from hawks, who worry about inflation getting out of hand, and doves, who worry about the high unemployment rate that is now at 8.2 percent.

Some politicians have argued that the Fed should drop the "maximum employment" portion of its mandate and concentrate on a single mandate of "stable prices."

Bullard also said he still expects the Fed to raise interest rates later next year, adding the U.S. economic recovery is on track despite a "mediocre" March jobs report.

"We haven't done our (St. Louis Fed) forecast that's coming next week but I don't see a lot of change in our forecast," Bullard told reporters. "The data has come our way."

Editor's Note: Economist Unapologetically Calls Out Bernanke, Obama for Mishandling Economy. See What They Did



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