St. Louis Fed President Addresses Rising Inflation

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James Bullard, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, addressed Northwest Arkansas professionals during the Quarterly Business Analysis breakfast on June 4 at the Embassy Suites in Rogers.

During his speech, Bullard, who took over as president in April, gave his perspective on the U.S. economy and the issues and trends that are affecting monetary policy.

Bullard said the Fed’s early and continued concentration on the national’s financial sector has addressed some of the industry’s major issues and put the central bank in the position to begin addressing the nation’s rising inflation.

“After a 10-month period in which the dominant policy concern has rightly been the state of financial markets, policy can begin to address pressing inflationary concerns during the remainder of the year,” he said.

Bullard said he believes the central bank will be able to maintain price stability by focusing on longer-run behavior of the inflation rate and, as a result, the nation will continue to see growth for the remainder of 2008.

“My sense is that the U.S. economy will be able to post stronger growth in the second half of this year despite the ongoing financial crisis and the drag from the housing sector,” he said.

When asked about continued banking issues within the Eighth District, Bullard said he understood that banks were under a great amount of pressure but believed that all of the banks in the district would be able to “weather the storm,”

The Quarterly Business Analysis is hosted and presented by the Center for Business and Economic Research at the University of Arkansas’ Walton College of Business.