Fed's Lockhart: jobs report doesn't alter December QE taper decision

MONTGOMERY, Alabama Tue Nov 12, 2013 2:44pm EST

Dennis Lockhart, President, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, takes part in a panel discussion titled ''Twist and Shout: The Limits of U.S. Monetary Policy'' at the Milken Institute Global Conference in Beverly Hills, California May 1, 2012. REUTERS/Danny Moloshok

Dennis Lockhart, President, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, takes part in a panel discussion titled ''Twist and Shout: The Limits of U.S. Monetary Policy'' at the Milken Institute Global Conference in Beverly Hills, California May 1, 2012.

Credit: Reuters/Danny Moloshok

MONTGOMERY, Alabama (Reuters) - The "encouraging" October jobs report does not fundamentally change the equation when Federal Reserve policymakers gather next month to decide whether to reduce the pace of their asset purchases, a top U.S. central banker predicted on Tuesday.

Atlanta Fed President Dennis Lockhart told reporters a so-called tapering of the quantitative easing program remains a possibility at the December 17-18 policy meeting.

He added officials could discuss reducing their threshold for an interest rate rise to an unemployment level of 6.0 percent from 6.5 percent currently. Lockhart is comfortable with 6.5 percent for now, he said.

(Reporting by Jonathan Spicer; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)

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