The federal funds rate will not have to remain near zero until most of the employment losses from the recession are recovered, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta president and chief executive officer Dennis Lockhart said yesterday.

“I continue to support the current stance of interest rate policy,” he said at a breakfast at Atlanta Technical College, according to a prepared text of his remarks released by the Fed. “But the time is approaching when it will be appropriate to consider recalibrating interest-rate policy. I do not believe that time has yet arrived.”

“The policy rate may have to begin to rise even while unemployment is considerably higher than before the recession,” Lockhart added.

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