After “considerable progress” in conditions since the economy tanked, it is “quite hard to justify additional monetary stimulus, absent a dramatic deterioration in economic conditions,” and the current level of accommodation will not be warranted through 2014, Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond president Jeffrey Lacker said Wednesday.
“My projection is that if we want to keep inflation at 2%, we will likely need to raise rates in 2013,” Lacker told a Hampton Roads conference, according to prepared text released by the Fed. “Incoming data could change my assessment in either direction.”
He dissented to the Federal Open Market Committee statement in January “because my projection continues to differ significantly from the committee statement,” he said.
But, he noted, “many observers” consider the progress “sorely disappointing.” Lacker said, “the reasons are understandable,” since previous recessions yielded stronger recoveries, and 8.2% unemployment “is viewed as relatively elevated.”
While some point to the “moderate” expansion as proof the Fed should add stimulus, Lacker said, “I disagree. … Moreover, the reasons for more moderate growth suggest that further monetary stimulus is not likely to be of much help.”