CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta president Dennis Lockhart Tuesday said he would be reluctant to back a tightening of monetary policy in America’s uncertain economic climate unless it became “absolutely necessary” to curb inflation.

Lockhart, who will be voting on the Fed’s policymaking Federal Open Market Committee next year, said he would support a monetary tightening if the recent more rapid pace of inflation persists, but said that is not likely.

Meanwhile, he said the economy is in “quite ambiguous” circumstances in the wake of a May employment report that he called “clearly disappointing.”

Lockhart expressed confidence in the economy’s longer-term prognosis and noted that economic recoveries are rarely smooth.

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