SAN DIEGO Jan 4 St. Louis Federal Reserve
President James Bullard on Friday said the U.S. central bank may
be able to end its current asset purchase program before the end
of this year if the U.S. jobless rate falls as he expects.
U.S. unemployment will probably fall to the "low sevens" by
year's end, from 7.8 percent in at the end of 2012, Bullard told
reporters after participating on a panel at the American
Economics Association's annual meeting here.
"If we get even moderately good growth this year I would
expect unemployment to continue to tick down," Bullard said. "I
would say that that would put the committee in a good position
to think about doing a pause with the balance sheet policy."
If growth weakened, the Fed could resume asset purchases at
a later date, he said.
A pause would not be "a once and for all ending of the
policy," he said.