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Too early to lay out full exit from asset buys: Fed's Lockhart

US economic performance remains too mixed for Federal Reserve policymakers to lay out a detailed path for reducing and eventually halting their asset-purchase stimulus plan at their September meeting, a top Fed official said on Tuesday. Still, Atlanta Fed President Dennis Lockhart did not rule out some kind of decrease next month in the $85 billion monthly pace of bond buys currently under way.

He simply suggested this would be a decision to be adjusted over time, not the beginning of a pre-ordained pullback. "As I see it, a decision to proceed - whether it is in September, October, or December - ought to be thought of as a cautious first step," Lockhart told a meeting of the Kiwanis Club of Atlanta.

"The first adjustments to asset purchases, when they occur, should be the beginning of a process with steps that will be determined as later information arrives and certainty about the direction of the economy accumulates." Lockhart touted progress in the labour market but said weak economic growth gave him reason for pause. US gross domestic product rebounded to an annual rate of 1.7 percent in the first half of the year following two lacklustre quarters.

Copyright Reuters, 2013



 



 
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