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Bullard: U.S. monetary policy at a ‘crossroads,’ rates appropriate



FILE PHOTO – St. Louis Federal Reserve Bank President James Bullard speaks at a public lecture in Singapore October 8, 2018. REUTERS/Edgar Su

INDIANAPOLIS (Reuters) – U.S. monetary policy is at a “turning point,” St. Louis Federal Reserve bank president James Bullard said on Friday, as the Fed balances the behavior of inflation, the economy, and the rate hikes it has approved so far.

“We have normalized policy a lot,” with eight rate hikes since late 2015, said Bullard, an upcoming voter on interest rates who has called for the Fed to pause its hiking cycle. “Inflation is low and looks to be very stable,” and the recently narrowed yield curve, which may be signaling market concerns that the Fed is too “hawkish,” would also give the Fed reason to pause, Bullard said.

Other Fed officials have begun to signal a possible pause in the Fed’s recent pace of quarterly rate increases.

Reporting by Howard Schneider; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama