Fed's Lockhart sees bond buying beyond mid-2013

NEW YORK Thu Jan 17, 2013 12:41pm EST

NEW YORK Jan 17 (Reuters) - The U.S. Federal Reserve will very likely need to continue its large-scale asset purchases into the second half of this year, Atlanta Fed President Dennis Lockhart said on Thursday.

It would be "a struggle to see" an indication by mid-year that the labor market had improved enough to prompt the Fed to halt its bond buying, he said at a conference hosted by Bloomberg.