St. Louis Fed President James Bullard told an Arkansas audience of bankers on Friday that he expects interest rates to remain low and that he’s not too worried about high energy prices going forward.
Speaking at the Arkansas Bankers Association annual convention in Little Rock, Bullard said that the Federal Reserve is likely to leave its current policies in place until it can better assess their impact on the economy.
Talk Business contributor Suzi Parker, writing for Reuters, reports:
"This gives the committee more time to assess economic conditions," Bullard said.
Bullard said he was not too worried that the recent spike in energy prices would hurt the economy in any significant way.
"Increases in oil prices like the ones we have recently experienced have occurred many times in the past without seeming to have much effect on the economy," Bullard said.
At the same time, he urged policymakers to focus not just on price measures that exclude food and energy, so-called core inflation, but also on the overall numbers that better reflect the everyday experience of consumers.
"Headline inflation is the ultimate objective of monetary policy with respect to prices," Bullard said.