(Reuters) - A top Federal Reserve policymaker said on Wednesday the U.S. economy is on a “really solid footing” for this year despite a rash of cold weather that has prompted weaker data reports, adding the Fed will very likely keep trimming its stimulus.
John Williams, president of the San Francisco Fed, said on CNBC TV that it would take more than some “relatively weak” reports on the labor market to stop the U.S. central bank from its plan to keep trimming a bond buying program.
“Unemployment is down to 6.6 percent, the economy is growing close to 3 percent, I think we’re in a good place to start pulling back on the gas somewhat,” he said.
The Fed has cut it asset purchases twice in the last two months and intends to shelve the program by later this year, as long as the economy continues to improve.
Storms and a cold winter in the United States, however, are believed to have weakened manufacturing, retail sales and jobs growth in the last two months.
Reporting by Jonathan Spicer; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama