BOSTON — St. Louis Federal Reserve President James Bullard Friday said the U.S. economy appears ready to take off, but that he wants to see actual evidence before the Fed starts winding down its easy monetary policies.
The country "seems poised for growth - but boy, I want to see the numbers," Bullard said during a question-and-answer session following a speech at a Brandeis University International Business School forum.
"The U.S. looks very good, but ... I don't just want to base (a tightening) on the forecast," he said.
Bullard is a voter on the Fed's policymaking Federal Open Market Committee, and made headlines with his concerns about an inflation level that is well below the FOMC's target. The Fed has been buying $85 billion of U.S. Treasuries and mortgage bonds to push down interest rates, but has indicated it might soon phase the program out as the U.S. economy firms.
Bullard had previously said he wants to see more evidence of a recovery before the Fed sets a timetable for winding QE3 down.
While reiterating such views Friday, Bullard said the U.S. economy looks "like an island of stability" compared to Europe, Asia and emerging markets.
"The U.S. actually looks very good on a global scale right now," Bullard said. "You've got Europe, which looks like growth is going to be very slow or even stagnant for a while. You've got slowing in China (and) a question mark in Japan about their new policy, (and) emerging markets that are maybe not quite as attractive as they've been in a place like Brazil."
He added that the recent flow of second-quarter U.S. corporate-earnings releases "seems to be going pretty well - I would say not spectacular, but pretty well."
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