Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta president Dennis Lockhart Friday said the Fed can afford to exercise “patience” with regard to tightening its loose monetary policy because inflation pressures are apt to be “transitory,” inflation expectations “stable,” the economy “fragile,” and the recovery in employment in need of “support.”

Lockhart said current policy, which has the federal funds rate pegged at zero to 25 basis points for going on two and a half years and a still-growing balance sheet, remains “appropriate.”

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