Fed's Lacker: More easing would be counterproductive
Further monetary stimulus from the Federal Reserve would boost inflation and do little to improve growth and bring down unemployment, Richmond Fed President Jeffrey Lacker said on Tuesday.
Lacker, an inflation hawk, said he was comfortable with his forecast for economic growth to gradually strengthen into 2013 despite a weaker-than-expected 2.2 percent annualized growth rate for the first quarter.
In particular he pointed to the strong pick-up in consumer spending as a "heartening" sign.
"It suggests (their) confidence in the sustainability of the recovery is growing," Lacker told a panel sponsored by Bloomberg.
Lacker, the lone dissenter at three Fed meetings so far this year, has opposed the central bank's indication that it is likely to leave interest rates near zero until at least late 2014.
Lacker believes rates will have to rise around the middle of next year in order to keep inflation pressures at bay.
In response to the financial crisis and deep recession of 2008-2009, the Fed slashed borrowing costs to the bone and bought some $2.3 trillion in securities in an effort to keep long-term rates low.