Factbox: Fed officials' comments on U.S. economy, policy

Mon Nov 5, 2012 11:06pm EST

(Reuters) - The U.S. Federal Reserve kept its newly launched monetary stimulus program in place at its meeting last month and repeated its vow to keep interest rates low through at least mid-2015.

The central bank's bond-buying program, begun in September, calls for $40 billion in mortgage debt purchases per month, to be augmented as needed, until the Fed sees a significant improvement in labor market conditions.

The following are recent comments from Fed policymakers. An asterisk next to a name denotes the person is a voting member of the policy-setting Federal Open Market Committee this year.

*SAN FRANCISCO FED PRESIDENT JOHN WILLIAMS, November 5

"We are not seeing signs of rising inflation on the horizon."

*WILLIAMS, November 2

"The calendar date has been pretty effective at aligning expectations with our own views...There's a little bit in my mind of, 'if it ain't broke, don't fix it.'"

BOSTON FED PRESIDENT ERIC ROSENGREN, November 1

"My own personal assessment is that, as long as inflation and inflation expectations are expected to remain well-behaved in the medium term, we should continue to forcefully pursue asset purchases at least until the national unemployment rate falls below 7.25 percent and then assess the situation."

*ATLANTA FED PRESIDENT DENNIS LOCKHART, November 1

"It's appropriate to be cautious about relying on a single indicator of labor market trends."

MINNEAPOLIS FED PRESIDENT NARAYANA KOCHERLAKOTA, October 30

"Given how high unemployment is expected to remain over the next few years, these inflation forecasts suggest that monetary policy is, if anything, too tight, not too easy."

*RICHMOND FED PRESIDENT JEFFREY LACKER, October 26

"Improvement in labor market conditions appears to have been held back by real impediments that are beyond the capacity of monetary policy to offset...In such circumstances, further monetary stimulus runs the risk of raising inflation in a way that threatens the stability of inflation expectations."

FEDERAL OPEN MARKET COMMITTEE STATEMENT, October 24

"The committee remains concerned that, without sufficient policy accommodation, economic growth might not be strong enough to generate sustained improvement in labor market conditions."

(Reporting by Alister Bull, Jonathan Spicer, Pedro da Costa and Ann Saphir; Editing by Lisa Shumaker)

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