PHILADELPHIA Jan 14 Predicting more economic
growth and a further drop in U.S. unemployment this year, a top
U.S. central banker said on Tuesday he would prefer a
quicker-than-planned withdrawal of policy stimulus.
Philadelphia Fed President Charles Plosser, whose hawkish
views are well known at the Federal Reserve, downplayed a weak
December jobs report and rebuffed concerns some of his
colleagues have voiced over so many Americans having dropped out
of the work force.
"As we enter 2014, I think the bottom line is that the
economy is on a firmer footing than it has been for the past
several years," he was to tell a luncheon at the ornate Union
League of Philadelphia building in downtown Philadelphia.
According to prepared remarks, Plosser - who votes on U.S.
monetary policy this year under a rotating system - predicted
joblessness would fall to 6.2 percent by year end, from 6.7
percent last month.
He repeated expectations that inflation, while low at 1
percent now, will rise toward the Fed's 2-percent goal through
the year, and he reiterated a forecast of 3-percent gross
domestic product growth.
While the Fed this month trimmed its bond-buying to $75
billion per month from $85 billion, in a nod to a better labor
market, Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke has said the program would be
wound down in cautious, measured steps and probably shelved
altogether by year end.
"My preference would be that we conclude the purchases
sooner than this," Plosser said, "but I am glad that we have
taken the first step on the path to ending the program."