Though he is "cautious" about the need for more monetary action since "we do not yet have enough information to conclude the economy won't resume a healthier pace of growth," Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta president Dennis Lockhart Monday said the Fed has the tools, if needed, to ease policy.
"Not every economic problem we face has a monetary policy fix," Lockhart told the Rotary Club of Florence, Ala. "That is the reason I have said repeatedly that the hurdle to justify additional monetary policy stimulus should be high. But the events of the last several weeks are a reminder that circumstances can quickly arise that may call for additional monetary actions."
He warned against jumping to conclusions.
"As recently as two weeks ago, there was a widely held view that the U.S. economy was in a soft patch with a good chance of turning up in the second half of 2011. The rapid-fire developments of the last several days, along with some troubling data releases, have shaken confidence," he said.
He added that he believes "a resumption of growth is the most likely case."