WASHINGTON (Reuters) - More monetary stimulus from the Federal Reserve would stoke inflation without doing very much for U.S. economic growth, Richmond Fed President Jeffrey Lacker, a consistent dissenter on the Fed’s policy committee, said on Monday.
Lacker told Fox Business in an interview that the U.S. central bank had done enough to support growth.
He said keeping interest rates near zero was appropriate for now, but that borrowing costs might need to rise in late 2013. That was a shift from April, when Lacker thought a mid-2013 rate-hike might be appropriate, and reflects growing signs of weakness in the U.S. economy.
Asked if a third round of bond buys from the Fed are likely this year, Lacker said:
“Nothing is ever a foregone conclusion. We take everything a meeting at a time. It’s going to depend on how the data comes out,” said Lacker, who has dissented at every meeting this year.
He noted that inflation is running near the Fed’s 2 percent target, and said he would support additional monetary stimulus if inflation falls consistently below target.
Reporting By Pedro Nicolaci da Costa; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama