WASHINGTON — Though Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta president Dennis Lockhart said Tuesday that he is “reticent” to do more to stimulate growth, Charles Evans, president of the Chicago Fed, estimated there is “tremendous” room for further action.
Both central bankers, however, agreed during a joint interview on the cable channel CNBC that the March employment report was a disappointment.
Hence the need to do more, according to Evans, who added that more accommodation would not cause inflation to spike higher.
Lockhart, however, cautioned that eventually, the Fed balance sheet will have to be normalized, and that monetary policy cannot target “specific” segments of the economy.
In addition, it’s not certain that “more really active stimulus, in the form of quantitative easing for example, would have that big an effect,” Lockhart said.
He also said to keep in mind the longer-term costs in terms of inflation expectations in particular. “I’m a bit reticent at this time to pull the trigger on any new action,” Lockhart said. “I think we need to see how the economy evolves.”
At the opposite end of the spectrum, Evans said, “there is a tremendous amount of room for more accommodation though to help support the economy.”