St. Louis Federal Reserve Bank President and CEO James Bullard is ready to increase interest rates.
Unemployment has rebounded as much as it can, and wage growth, he says, is a lagging indicator.
The big factor is inflation. And, from his perspective, that, too, has almost hit its target.
“We’ve basically achieved everything that we can achieve with monetary policy,” he said.
His comments came as part of an exclusive interview with Business Insider on September 21. The Federal Reserve last week voted against lifting rates.
Bullard points to the trimmed mean PCE inflation rate, tracked by the Dallas Federal Reserve Bank, which provides an alternative measure of inflation in the US.
“Inflation is running low right now,” he told Business Insider. “A lot of that is because of oil prices. But low oil prices are ultimately a bullish factor for the US economy. It should actually bolster US economic growth. For that reason you might want to try to look through the low prices of oil today, and instead be looking to a measure like the Dallas Fed trimmed measure mean inflation rate, which is running at 1.6%.”
One of the things holding the Fed back from hiking rates is its goal of 2% inflation. But Bullard thinks that 2% inflation could sneak up on policy-makers very quickly.
“Growth forecasts for 2015 were upgraded at the last meeting from where they were previously,” Bullard said.
He added: “Inflation is going to return to target and our policies are a long way out of position compared to where we should be.”
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