IE 11 is not supported. For an optimal experience visit our site on another browser.

Fed's McTeer: ‘We have effective price stability’

Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas President Robert McTeer said on Friday that U.S. inflation was still dormant and until it became a clear danger the central bank could maintain its current loose monetary policy.
/ Source: Reuters

Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas President Robert McTeer said on Friday that U.S. inflation was still dormant and until it became a clear danger the central bank could maintain its current loose monetary policy.

Appearing on a financial cable television network, McTeer was asked if he still believed the U.S. economy could have strong growth and low inflation so that the Fed would not have to be quick in raising interest rates. "Yes, pretty much ... I think the new economy is still with us," he replied.

Asked what the Fed meant by its commitment to keeping policy accommodative for a "considerable period," McTeer said: "Don't focus on the time per se. Look at the economy. When conditions change such that inflation looks to be a clear and present danger, then the considerable time is up."

McTeer saw little danger of inflation picking up just yet given excess capacity in industry and the labor market.

"Inflation is very dormant right now. We have effective price stability," he said. "We still have a lot of slack left over ... and we still have rapid productivity growth so I don't worry too much about inflation until a lot of that slack is taken up."

Regarding surprisingly soft figures on durable goods orders released earlier in the week, McTeer said the report was a negative but most other indicators had been positive. "I'm assuming it's an outlier and that it'll improve," he said.

Durable goods orders fell 3.1 percent in November when economists had looked for a rise of about 0.8 percent.

McTeer said he expected the economy to grow at an annual rate of between 4 percent and 5 percent in the next few months. "It's still very, very strong and I expect we're going to continue to get some employment growth," he added.

Asked about the weakness of the dollar and any implications for inflation, McTeer said the level of the currency was up to financial markets.

"I believe in markets. As long as the dollar being priced in competitive markets that whatever it is, it's pretty much the appropriate level for it to be," he said.