Bullard says current rate likely appropriate for forecast horizon

A Peek Into The Markets U.S. Stock Futures Mostly Lower Ahead Of Fed Speakers Economic Data

"The earliest you would have meaningful impact is the second half of 2018 or into 2019".

Yet, the current Fed tightening cycle is only motivated by the labour market's strength out of all macroeconomic fundamentals, with U.S. unemployment at its multi-year low of 4.3 percent.

US government bonds remained stuck in a holding pattern Friday, with yields slipping slightly on a daily and weekly basis as investors awaited more data to either confirm or challenge their lowered inflation expectations.

Inflation, as measured by the Fed's preferred gauge, breached its annual 2% goal in February for the first time in almost five years but has since retreated, sinking to 1.7% in April. They also intend to begin trimming their US$4.5 trillion balance sheet this year; a move that, like a rate hike, is likely to raise real borrowing costs.

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"Recent inflation data have surprised to the downside and call into question the idea that US inflation is reliably returning toward target", Bullard said at an Illinois Bankers Association conference. "The Fed can wait and see how the economy develops before making any further adjustments".

Yields are being held down to a large degree by a run of soft inflation data, which has boosted the appeal of government debt and raised doubts about the Federal Reserve's plans to raise interest rates at least one more time this year.

Recent weak readings on inflation, which has been under the Fed's 2 per cent target for nearly every month since April 2012, have raised worries in some quarters that it's headed for a mistake if price pressures don't rebound and officials continue to tighten monetary policy.

Bullard, who regards the economy as stuck in a low-growth rut, said he sees little reason to rush the process. This move is seen as very hard given US airlines current position that their Persian Gulf rivals have unfair advantages due to large government subsidies. "The short answer is no, based on current estimates of the relationship between unemployment and inflation", he said.

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