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Fed Presidents Say Weak Data Isn’t Altering U.S. Outlook

Two Federal Reserve regional bank presidents said recent weak economic data, including first quarter growth of 2.2 percent, hasn’t changed their forecasts for the pace of the expansion.

“It’s too early in my mind for me to change my outlook,” Atlanta Fed President Dennis Lockhart said today in an interview on CNBC. “I’m a bit reticent at this time to pull the trigger on any new action. I think we need to see how the economy evolves.”

Lockhart was interviewed with Chicago Fed President Charles Evans, who said the “table is still set for 2.5-to-3 percent growth over the next 18 months.” Evans said he favors additional monetary stimulus because “we ought to be doing better.”

Fed presidents rotate voting on monetary policy with Lockhart, who has never dissented from a decision of the Federal Open Market Committee, voting this year.

Evans is scheduled to vote next year. He dissented from committee decisions in November and December last year, saying the FOMC should increase stimulus.

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