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Lockhart Says Payrolls Report Shouldn’t Derail Fed QE Reduction

Bloomberg Businessweek (01/13/14) Steve Matthews

Dennis Lockhart, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, says tepid payroll growth in December should not impede the reduction of monthly bond purchases, so long as the economy continues to strengthen. Payrolls increased at the slowest pace in three years in December, and a decline in labor force participation contributed to a reduction in the jobless rate of 0.3 percentage points. According to Lockhart, Fed officials are basing their decisions on many gauges of labor force and economic strength.

“I don’t think we should overreact, and I am not changing my view of the outlook or the wisdom of the decision we made in December,” Lockhart says, referring to reductions in bond purchases. “Steadily ahead is the right posture.”