May 23, 2012 / 7:25 PM / 6 years ago

Kocherlakota-rise in joblessness could trigger more Fed easing

RAPID CITY, South Dakota, May 23 (Reuters) - The U.S. Federal Reserve, which has kept short-term rates near zero since December 2008, may need to ease monetary policy further if U.S. unemployment rises or inflation falls, a top Fed official said on Wednesday.

Those are possible outcomes if U.S. lawmakers allow a raft of tax breaks to expire on schedule at the end of the year, pushing the nation over a “fiscal cliff” in 2013, Minneapolis Fed President Narayana Kocherlakota said in answer to an audience question after a talk at the Black Hills Knowledge Network.

But, he added, “I don’t see that that is a policy choice that the Congress and President wind up making,” he said.

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