Fed’s Lockhart Says He May Support QE Tapering in September

Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta President Dennis Lockhart
The U.S. economy will probably expand this year at a rate ranging from 2 percent to 2.5 percent, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta President Dennis Lockhart said. Photographer: Scott Eells/Bloomberg

Aug. 23 (Bloomberg) -- Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta President Dennis Lockhart, who has backed the Fed’s $85 billion in monthly bond purchases, said he will support a slowing in bond purchases as long as economic reports remain strong.

“I would be supportive in September as long as the data between now and then basically confirm the path we’re on,” Lockhart, who doesn’t vote on monetary policy this year, said today in a CNBC interview from Jackson Hole, Wyoming. “I am confident in a continuation of this sort of moderate growth path.”

Treasury yields hit a two-year high this week amid speculation the Federal Open Market Committee will slow its bond buying starting next month. Policy makers are weighing when to begin reducing large-scale asset purchases, which they have pledged to maintain until the job market improves substantially.

The U.S. economy will probably expand this year at a rate ranging from 2 percent to 2.5 percent, Lockhart said. Unemployment by the end of 2013 will probably be between 7.2 percent and 7.4 percent, he said.

To contact the reporters on this story: Steve Matthews in Atlanta at smatthews@bloomberg.net;

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Christopher Wellisz at cwellisz@bloomberg.net