Since food and energy prices have been quite volatile recently, this would be “an opportune time” for the Fed to announce “an explicit numerical inflation objective,” Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland president Sandra Pianalto said Thursday.

“My own preference is 2% over the medium term, an inflation objective that is quite similar to the targets of many central banks around the world,” Pinalto told a conference in Rome, according to a prepared text released by the Fed. “As much as the concept of 'zero inflation’ appeals to me, 2% is a much more practical numerical objective than zero.”

Economic conditions “warrant the continuation of our current monetary policy stance,” Pianalto said.

“Indeed, my outlook for economic growth and inflation assumes that we complete our asset0purchase program as originally scheduled, and keep our federal funds rate target at exceptionally low levels for an extended period,” she said.

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