Lockhart says Fed still far from inflation and jobs goals

OXFORD, Miss. Fri Nov 8, 2013 1:31pm EST

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OXFORD, Miss. Nov 8 (Reuters) - The Federal Reserve is still far from its inflation and employment goals, Atlanta Fed President Dennis Lockhart said on Friday, although he would not rule out potentially cutting back stimulus in December.

Lockhart said stronger-than-expected U.S. job creation in October was encouraging but warned against reading too much into one month's data.

Data between now and the Fed's December meeting, when policymakers will discuss whether to maintain its $85 billion a month bond-buying program, would still have some noise, he said.

"We are far from our mandated statutory goals. The economy remains weak," Lockhart said during a question-and-answer session.

The Fed's mandate calls for maximum employment, stable prices, and moderate long-term interest rates. The jobless rate is currently running at 7.3 percent and annual inflation was 0.9 percent in September, according to the Fed's preferred measure of price pressures.

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