NEW YORK The open-ended nature of the Federal Reserve's current bond-buying program has made communication for the U.S. central bank "a struggle" this year, Richmond Fed President Jeffrey Lacker said on Monday.
"The previous (stimulus programs) had fixed amounts of purchases and a built-in end date, and we didn't have to fuss around with whether we would reduce the pace of purchases or not," said Lacker, who has opposed the program.
The current 15-month-old program involves buying $85 billion in government and mortgage bonds each month.
Fed officials said earlier this year they were likely to start slowing the pace of those purchases soon due to stronger job growth. But failure to do so in September, when financial markets were expecting the first reduction, unnerved investors and led to accusations of poor communication.
"We've been learning this year about how to communicate," Lacker said during a panel discussion at a Charlotte Chamber of Commerce event.
(Reporting by Steven C. Johnson; Editing by James Dalgleish)