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Monetary Policy Is Not Loose Enough: Fed Official

Modest U.S. growth will keep inflation in check and means the Federal Reserve should ease monetary policy further to bring the rate of U.S. unemployment down at a faster pace, a senior U.S. central banker said on Wednesday.

Minneapolis Fed Bank chief Narayana Kocherlakota, one of the more dovish members of the Fed's policy-setting committee, also repeated his view that the best way to boost the economy was to lower the Fed's jobless rate threshold on interest rate guidance to 5.5 percent.

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"My outlook for unemployment and my outlook for inflation both point to a need for more accommodation than is currently being provided by the FOMC," he said in prepared remarks to local business groups in Edina, Minnesota, referring to the Federal Open Market Committee.

The Fed last week voted to maintain asset purchases at a $85 billion monthly pace until it saw a substantial improvement in the outlook for the labor market, while pledging to hold interest rates near zero until the jobless rate hit 6.5 percent, provided inflation remained under 2.5 percent.

Kocherlakota, who is not a voting member of the policy-setting committee this year, expects the jobless rate to be close to 7 percent by the end of 2014, and forecasts growth around 2.5 percent this year and 3 percent next year.

Meanwhile, Boston Federal Reserve President Eric Rosengren, a leading Fed dove who is a voting member of its policy-setting committee this year, said on Wednesday that there is "little evidence" Fed bond purchases have caused financial instability and since the measures are working they ought be continued for the rest of 2013.

He also played down talk of asset bubbles forming.

(Read More: No Reason to Worry About a Bubble Now: Treasury's Lew)

"Put simply, the benefits of our asset purchases have exceeded any reasonable estimate of the costs," Rosengren told bankers and business leaders in prepared remarks. "I see little evidence that our monetary policies are generating significant financial stability problems at this time."

(Read More: Fed Keeps Easing, Not Worried About Stock Bubble)

But Sandra Pianalto, the Cleveland Fed President, said the central bank should consider tapering off the pace of its bond-buying stimulus plan if the U.S. economy continues to show signs of improvement.

She said she was encouraged by more robust job growth in recent months after a February report showed 236,000 new positions were created last month.

"I would regard a slowing in the pace of asset purchases to be a welcome direction for monetary policy if it resulted from a significant improvement in the outlook for labor market conditions," Pianalto told a luncheon sponsored by the CFA Society. "That outcome could emerge before long, but it still remains to be seen."

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