Fed's Bullard says jobs growth is 'ahead of schedule'

June 26 Thu Jun 26, 2014 9:31am EDT

June 26 (Reuters) - U.S. jobs growth is "way ahead of schedule," and most data suggest the economy is getting stronger, a top Fed official said on Thursday, downplaying recent data that showed a steeper-than-expected plunge in first-quarter GDP growth.

"It's giving me heartburn, but I think the market's right to shake this off," St. Louis Fed President James Bullard, speaking in an interview on Fox Business Network, said of the GDP data that was released on Wednesday. "I think it's an aberration. I would throw it out at this point; I think the economy actually looks pretty good."

Jobs growth has been much stronger than expected since the Fed began its third round of quantitative easing in 2012, Bullard said, averaging more than 200,000 new jobs a month.

Inflation, which has been too low, will move higher this year, to at or above the Fed's 2-percent target by 2015, he predicted. But as long as inflation keeps to around 2 percent on average over a period of several years, Bullard said he would not be too worried. (Reporting by Ann Saphir; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)

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