Fed's Evans says monetary policy 'well-positioned' now

FILE PHOTO: Chicago Federal Reserve Bank President Charles Evans speaks during the Global Interdependence Center Members Delegation Event in Mexico City, Mexico, February 27, 2020. REUTERS/Edgard Garrido

(Reuters) -Chicago Federal Reserve President Charles Evans on Monday said the U.S. central bank’s current policy stance is “well-positioned” and that by springtime it would become clearer if or how the Fed needs to adjust its asset purchase program.

“Our current way of doing the $120 billion of purchases every month is reasonable across a wide range of maturities; if we see that we need more accommodation we could adjust and move the current pace into a longer duration, or we could expand the pace of purchases, or, if we saw that things were going better we could change the duration as well,” Evans told reporters after participating in a panel at the annual meeting of the Allied Social Science Associations.

“We are going to want to have full confidence that the recovery is going to be a robust one, that we are well on our way to growth rates this year of 4% for GDP ... and the unemployment rate going down to 5-ish percent,” Evans said.

“If we saw something substantially better than that, that would kind of say we are in a pretty good place and maybe we need less of this.”

The Fed said in December it would keep up its asset purchases at the current pace until it saw “substantial progress” toward its full employment and 2% inflation goals.

Reporting by Ann SaphirEditing by Chris Reese and Paul Simao