Fed’s Lockhart says policy should make economy more dynamic

Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta President Dennis Lockhart Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta President Dennis Lockhart

Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta President Dennis Lockhart, who has backed the Fed’s $85 billion in monthly bond purchases, said U.S. monetary policy should focus on creating a more dynamic economy after a recent cooling in growth.

“Recently there appears to have been some slowing” in job creation, Lockhart, who next votes on policy in 2015, said today in New York. Payroll gains have averaged just 148,000 over the past three months, he said.

Lockhart’s comments help explain why the Federal Open Market Committee last week unexpectedly refrained from slowing its $85 billion monthly pace of bond buying, saying it needs additional evidence of sustained improvement in the economy. The decision sent the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index (CME:SPZ13) soaring to a record close and pushed down the yield on the 10-Year Treasury note (CBOT:ZNZ13) the most since November.

“Monetary policy can help deliver appropriately favorable interest rate conditions that can promote a faster economic recovery, always in a context of low and stable inflation,” Lockhart said today to the Blouin Creative Leadership Summit.

New York Fed President William C. Dudley said policy makers must “forcefully” push against economic headwinds as the U.S. has yet to show “any meaningful pickup” in momentum.

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