(Bloomberg) -- Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis President James Bullard said he pushed against the central bank’s decision this week to delay an interest rate increase, because the economy has more or less fulfilled policy makers’ goals.
“The case for policy normalization is quite strong, since Committee objectives have essentially been met,” Bullard said in slides prepared for a speech in Nashville, Tennessee. “I argued against the decision at the FOMC meeting.”
Bullard is not a voting member of the policy-setting Federal Open Market Committee in 2015, but will vote in 2016.
Interest rates have been near zero since 2008 and the Federal Open Market Committee voted on Sept. 17 to keep them there, as financial market turmoil and slowing growth in China raised doubts about the outlook for U.S. growth and inflation.
“Recent global economic and financial developments may restrain economic activity somewhat and are likely to put further downward pressure on inflation in the near term,” the committee said in a statement on Thursday.
Chair Janet Yellen echoed those comments in a press conference, saying the Fed needed more time to assess the impact of slowing global growth, including China and emerging markets. Richmond Fed President Jeffrey Lacker disagreed with the decision and dissented.
The Fed’s preferred gauge of inflation has remained under its goal since April 2012 and rose 0.3 percent in the year through July.
Bullard on Saturday stressed that even with a small rate increase, policy will remain accommodative and help to push inflation back toward the Fed’s 2 percent goal.
The St. Louis Fed president has sometimes been a bellwether for the central bank, though this year his views have been more hawkish than the majority in wanting to move sooner to raise rates.
Bullard in 2010 wrote a paper entitled “Seven Faces of the Peril,” which called on the central bank to avert deflation by purchasing Treasury notes. That was followed by a second round of bond buying, or quantitative easing.
Bullard has been president of the St. Louis Fed since 2008. His district includes all of Arkansas and parts of Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Mississippi, Missouri and Tennessee.
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