ST. LOUIS — St. Louis Federal Reserve Bank President James Bullard Thursday said an October start to tapering the central bank's $85 billion a month in asset purchases has become less likely because of the partial federal government shutdown and resulting the lack of economic data.

"As it turns out October is looking less likely for a decision on tapering because of the government shutdown and lack of data we would have otherwise received," he told reporters during a St. Louis Fed research conference.

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