TOKYO — Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis president James Bullard said Thursday that recent data have been “somewhat mixed” but not enough to change his basic outlook for the economy to grow at a “moderate” 3% rate this year.

Bullard, in Tokyo to attend an economic conference hosted by the Bank of Japan, also told reporters that he still expects the U.S. unemployment rate will tick down to 7.8% by year end from 8.1% now.

Bullard said he is unlikely to revise his projections at the next Federal Open Market Committee meeting “because the hard data on the U.S. has actually been fairly good.” But he sounded cautious about the FOMC opting to conduct another round of purchases of U.S. government bonds.

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