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FACTBOX-Fed officials' comments on U.S. economy, policy

Wednesday, 24 Oct 2012 | 7:33 PM ET

Oct 24 (Reuters) - The U.S. Federal Reserve kept its newly launched monetary stimulus program in place after a two-day meeting that ended Wednesday and repeated its vow to keep interest rates low through at least mid-2015. The central bank's bond-buying program, begun after last month's meeting, calls for $40 billion in mortgage debt purchases per month, to be augmented as needed, until the Fed sees a significant improvement in labor market conditions. The following are recent comments from Fed policymakers. An asterisk next to a name denotes the person is a voting member of the policy-setting Federal Open Market Committee this year.

FEDERAL OPEN MARKET COMMITTEE STATEMENT, Oct. 24 ``The committee remains concerned that, without sufficient policy accommodation, economic growth might not be strong enough to generate sustained improvement in labor market conditions.''

* SAN FRANCISCO FED PRESIDENT JOHN WILLIAMS, Oct. 15 ``In no way has our commitment to price stability wavered.''

* RICHMOND FED PRESIDENT JEFFREY LACKER, Oct. 15 ``Simply observing a high unemployment rate does not imply that the Fed's monetary policy is failing to comply with its congressional mandate, nor does it necessarily mean that monetary policy needs to do more to achieve its goals.''

* NEW YORK FED PRESIDENT WILLIAM DUDLEY, Oct. 15 ``If we were to see some good news on growth I would not expect us to respond in a hasty manner.''

* FED CHAIRMAN BEN BERNANKE, Oct. 14 ``It is not at all clear that accommodative policies in advanced economies impose net costs on emerging market economies.''

* RICHMOND FED PRESIDENT JEFFREY LACKER, Oct. 12 ``Such language could be misinterpreted as suggesting a diminished commitment to keeping inflation at 2 percent...I would oppose adopting such a stance, and I do not believe my colleagues on the FOMC intended that interpretation.''

PHILADELPHIA FED PRESIDENT CHARLES PLOSSER, Oct. 11 ``In fact, some are interpreting the FOMC's statement that we will keep accommodation in place for a considerable time after the recovery strengthens as an indication that the Fed is focused on trying to lower the unemployment rate and is willing to tolerate higher inflation to do so...This is another risk to the hard-won credibility the institution has built up over many years, which, if lost, will undermine economic stability.''

* FED GOVERNOR JEREMY STEIN, Oct. 11 ``It appears that the economy is growing at a pace such that, absent policy action, progress on reducing unemployment will likely be slow for some time...Given where we are, and what we know, I firmly believe that this decision was the right one.''

* FED VICE CHAIR JANET YELLEN, Oct. 11 ``Spillovers from Europe and a still-depressed housing market also help account for our tepid recovery and elevated unemployment.''

DALLAS FED PRESIDENT RICHARD FISHER, Oct. 10 ``The great inhibitor of job creation is the uncertainty over taxes and spending and regulation that plagues businesses.''

* SAN FRANCISCO FED PRESIDENT JOHN WILLIAMS, Oct. 10 ``You would expect inflation to fluctuate within some kind of reasonable band, so say between 1.5 percent and 2.5 percent. Even in normal situations, inflation tends to fluctuate because of various shocks and events.''

* NEW YORK FED PRESIDENT WILLIAM DUDLEY, Oct. 5 ``While there are several headwinds that have been restraining economic growth, a key impediment is that the housing market has failed to respond fully to the significant easing of monetary policy.''

*FED GOVERNOR ELIZABETH DUKE, Oct. 5 ``Doubtless there will be costs associated with solving these problems (in the housing sector), but it is important to also consider the costs of doing nothing.''

ST. LOUIS FED PRESIDENT JAMES BULLARD, Oct. 4 ``Distant inflation expectations from the TIPS (Treasury inflation protected securities) market seem to suggest that investors do not completely trust the Fed to deliver on its 2 percent inflation target.''

MINUTES OF SEPT. 12-13 FEDERAL OPEN MARKET COMMITTEE MEETING, released Oct. 4 ``Most participants agreed that the use of numerical thresholds could be useful in providing more clarity about the conditionality of the forward guidance but thought that further work would be needed to address the related communications challenges.''

(Reporting by Alister Bull, Jonathan Spicer, Pedro da Costa and Ann Saphir)