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Fed’s Bullard Still Wants Fed Rate Rise in Late First-Quarter 2015

Wall Street Journal (11/14/14) Michael S. Derby; Rebecca Boyle

Low inflation is no longer a sufficient reason to maintain very low short-term interest rates, and they should be raised early in 2015, says James Bullard, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis. “Low inflation can justify a policy rate somewhat lower than normal, but not zero,” he says. “Labor markets continue to improve and are approaching or even exceeding normal performance levels. Over the next year, it will become more and more difficult to point to labor market performance as a rationale for a near-zero policy rate.” His expectation of 3% growth and job gains through 2015 means “that the best time to raise the policy rate will be at the end of the first quarter of 2015.”