Fed's Bullard: Fed Policy to Stay 'Easy' for 'Long Time'
The Federal Reserve's "very aggressive" easy money policy is going to stay that way for a "long time," St. Louis Fed President James Bullard told CNBC on Friday.
"This is a monetary policy that packs a punch," said Bullard, who's a voting member on the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC).
Uncertainty about the future of the central bank's bond-buying program has weighed on the stock market in recent days.
But the St. Louis Fed president said in Friday's "Squawk Box" interview, "I think policy is much easier than it was last year because the outright purchases are more potent tool than the 'Twist' program was … I don't think markets have fully absorbed that switch."
Bullard added, "Fed policy is very easy and it's going stay easy for a long time."
On Wednesday, the FOMC released minutes of its January meeting, which said "many participants" expressed concerns about "potential costs and risks arising from further asset purchases."
(CNBC Explains: Fed's Bond Buying Program, Also Known as 'Quantitative Easing')
"It's true that the committee is thinking about how are we going to handle this later this year," Bullard admitted. "But that's a natural thing for the committee to be talking about."
(Read More: Fed Officials Divided on Future of QE)
As for the economy, "The amount of global economic uncertainty is way down from where it was last year," he said, adding that first- quarter economic growth looks to be tracking at about 2.5 percent, following the negative reading in the fourth quarter.
For the year, Bullard predicted gross domestic product growth at 3 percent, though he acknowledged that he's on the optimistic side.
(Read More: Fed's Williams: Risk of Losses Shouldn't Deter Fed)
Bullard warned investors not to think in terms of dates for the ending or winding down of quantitative easing. "You should be thinking in terms of how the economy is going to perform. … Substantial improvement in labor market conditions doesn't happen overnight," he said.
"The committee should acknowledge gradual improvement when we see it, when we think we see it," Bullard added, "and gradually taper back the program."
Bullard explained that he's advocated this type of approach for a long time "[so] on the day [QE] ends it's not such a big day."
He added: "It's just a continuous thing where you go from a small amount of purchases to zero."