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Low Interest Rates to Stay; Inflation Subdued: Bullard

US interest rates will stay low for an extended period of time, with inflation expected to stay subdued in the next 18 months, said St Louis Federal Reserve Bank President James Bullard.

CNBC Exclusive: Bullard on US Interest Rates

Speaking to CNBC in Shanghai, Bullard declined to give a specific time frame when rates will begin to climb, as he said those decisions would be "data dependant."

"You cannot give a specific date about when we might take action because everything depends on how the economy performs, both on the real side and with respect to inflation, " said Bullard.

"I do think if inflation expectations start to get out of control, that would trump everything and we would have to take action. But barring that, it's a matter of data dependency."

Bullard, a self-described inflation hawk, said he is "not worried" about U.S. prices for the next twelve to eighteen months.

Right now, he said adjusting securities purchases is more important than adjusting interest rates.

"We've got a quantitative easing program which we can adjust, and which most people have said has been successful in helping stabilize the economy. So the question here is which one do you want to adjust going forward in the near term and I think the natural candidate is the quantitative easing program."

The St Louis Federal Reserve Bank President said his strategy for unwinding securities purchases without damaging markets is to just go about it "very carefully".