— This is the script of CNBC's news report for China's CCTV on October 22, Tuesday.
As a lackluster US earnings season gets underway, markets continue to debate the Fed's taper timing. President of the Chicago Federal Reserve Charles Evans spoke exclusively to CNBC's Steve Liesman, indicating that there would be no reduction of asset purchases this year. Have a listen:
[Package on tape. CNBC reporter Steve Liesman interviews Chicago Federal Reserve President Charles Evans]
Evans: Given that in September we thought that it was much too close to call, we needed to see evidence of more sustainability of improvements in the labour market. And we haven't had a lot of data since that meeting, because they stopped publishing data during the government shutdown. So October's a tough one. December, I think we need a couple of good labour reports and evidence of increasing growth - GDP growth - and it's probably going to take a few months to sort that one out.
Liesman: One of three reasons that you gave in September for not tapering was concern about fiscal restraint. Given that the government just did a two month extension on the continuing resolution, and a three month on the debt ceiling, how can you feel comfortable in December that you won't have another bout of fiscal restraint come January and February?
Evans: It's a very good point you make. It's very difficult to feel confiden, December, given that we're going to repeat part of what just took place in Washington. There was a lot of fiscal drama which, I think, caught everybody's attention. Business people that I talked to are, you know, still concerned about how things are going to play out. So December will be pretty tough. And we could, you know, in fact get more restrictiveness. We've seen the government lop off over a percentage point from growth this year by many estimates. And over the last couple of years, it's been quite a lot. That's been a big headwind, and it's been virtually impossible for the private sector to just plow through that in terms of accelerating GDP growth.
Liesman: Could you see the Federal Reserve doing more quantitative easing in the face of more deficit reduction?
Evans: I think we're going to have to go into every meeting and look at the landscape. I would like to believe that the outlook for the economy is stronger than what you're currently suggesting. The Chairman in June pointed out that the FOMC's outlook was somewhat better than other people has been mentioning. We had been having a forecast like this for the last few years, so second half of the year would be better than the first half. And then next year would be an acceleration. We thought that was possible. And the Chairman pointed too, if this outlook comes about, we would need to begin to reduce our flow purchases. You know, if we saw a different kind of outlook or if inflation started turning down, we'd have to ask ourselves whether or not we could add more accommodation. I favour putting in place as much accommodation as we need.
Li Sixuan from CNBC's Singapore headquarters.