ATLANTA — While not totally ruling out an Oct. 30 reduction in bond purchases by the Federal Open Market Committee, Atlanta Federal Reserve Bank President Dennis Lockhart said Thursday the federal government shutdown makes that a "more ambiguous" time for the Fed's policymaking body to "taper" its "quantitative easing" program.

Lockhart, speaking to reporters at an Atlanta Fed conference on the labor market, said the longer the shutdown lasts and blacks out the usual flow of official economic data, the harder it will be for the FOMC to decide to taper at the end of this month.

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