September 4, 2018
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St. Louis Fed President James Bullard shared his views on the current stance of monetary policy, on potential growth in the U.S. and on the uncertainty around trade issues. He spoke with Fox Business in an interview in New York.
Bullard said the U.S. economy is growing above trend right now, but he pointed out that most forecasts expect growth to slow down. He noted the U.S. could see faster growth if productivity improved, but said “we need to see it before we can bake that into policy.”
Bullard said the Fed has already been pre-emptive over the last two years by raising the federal funds rate and starting to shrink the balance sheet while inflation was below target. Now, inflation is right at target, he pointed out, and market-based inflation expectations are low and remain right around target. “I think it shows that we've got a pretty good policy right now and we should stay where we are and see how the data come in,” he said.
On trade, Bullard noted the uncertainty around possible trade relationships and highlighted the importance of getting some resolution on trade deals. “That will reduce the uncertainty and give investors more confidence,” he said.