The U.S. economic recovery is on solid ground, making it unlikely the Federal Reserve will extend its bond-buying stimulus program, Atlanta Federal Reserve Bank President Dennis Lockhart said on Friday.
Still, growth is still weak enough and inflation is sufficiently low—despite recent increases in food and energy prices – to allow policymakers to keep interest rates very low, Reuters reports.
"I remain satisfied that the current stance of monetary policy is appropriately calibrated to the current and projected state of the economy," Lockhart told the Bonita/Estero Market Pulse Conference.
The wire service said the remarks suggested Lockhart and his colleagues at the Fed plan to continue their program of $600 billion in government bond purchases through to its June deadline, but have no plans to extend the program beyond that.
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Asked about the chances of another round of quantitative easing, often referred to as QE3, Lockhart said: "It's a high bar."
The Fed earlier this month unanimously decided to forge ahead with the $600 billion bond-buying program and reiterated a pledge to keep interest rates, currently near zero, at very low levels for an extended period.