The Federal Reserve could cut its bond-buying program at any of three of the year’s remaining policy meetings, according to the president of the Atlanta Fed Bank.
The Fed has three more policy meetings scheduled this year, in September, October and December, according to a MarketWatch report. In a Tuesday interview with MNI, Atlanta Fed Bank President Dennis Lockhart said in that October couldn’t be ruled out for the taper, although Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke hasn’t scheduled a press conference following the meeting.
Lockhart also said he wasn’t disappointed by the July unemployment report, which showed only 162,000 jobs added – lower than the 175,000 to 185,000 predicted by economists, according to ABC News. He did, however, tell MNI that he’d like to see job gains in the 180,000 to 200,000 per month range. Those kind of gains, he told MNI, could allow the Fed to scale back its bond-buying program over time.
Lockhart told MNI that he’d be scrutinizing the data for “the next few weeks” to see if growth picks up. If not, Lockhart said, the taper may not be a foregone conclusion.
Lockhart is not a voting member of the Fed’s policy committee this year.