St. Louis Federal Reserve Bank President James Bullard on Friday said there is unanimity among officials on the central bank's policy-setting panel over providing more support to the economy if the recovery suffers a serious setback.
I think everyone on the committee is completely on board with the idea that, you know, if things got really bad, we would try to take other action, he said on CNBC television.
Bullard said he has concerns that the Fed's current policy of promising exceptionally low interest rates for an extended period could have the opposite of its intended effect of stimulating growth.
The Fed promised ultra low rates for a long time to underscore its intention to support the economy as it was battered by a deep financial crisis and painful recession.
But Bullard, repeating comments he made on Thursday, said his research shows the pledge could in fact cause the economy to stall at a point of falling inflation and sluggish growth, mirroring Japan's. Japan for years has struggled to escape from weak or little growth and deflation.
The St. Louis Fed chairman said that with interest rates near zero, the central bank should shift its focus from promising low interest rates to using its printing press to push more credit into the financial system as economic conditions fluctuate.
At every meeting you should be saying, OK, here's how the data came in, here's how the forecast changed, so we're going to adjust a little in this direction, here's how we're going to react to events, he said.
(Reporting by Mark Felsenthal; Editing by Theodore d'Afflisio)