Fed’s James Bullard says he would 'stand pat' on rates for rest of the year

  • St. Louis Federal Reserve President James Bullard is cautious about hiking rates again this year.
  • "If it was just me I'd stand pat where we are and I'd try to react to data as it comes in," he tells CNBC's Steve Liesman. "I just don't see much inflation pressure."

St. Louis Federal Reserve President James Bullard does not want the central bank to raise rates again this year.

"If it was just me, I'd stand pat where we are and I'd try to react to data as it comes in," he said Friday in an interview with CNBC's Steve Liesman. "I just don't see much inflation pressure. ... I'm an inflation hawk, but I just don't see that developing. ... I just don't think this is a situation where we have to be pre-emptive."

Market watchers widely anticipate a hike a Fed rate increase on Sept. 26 and possibly one more in December. The Fed has been on a rate-hiking cycle since December 2015, raising rates seven times, after keeping the funds rate near zero for seven years.

Bullard said he'd focus on inflation data and inflation expectations to change his views. Currently the numbers are not pointing to "much inflation," he noted in the interview, which aired on "Squawk Box."

He also said he believes economic growth will slow next year.

"I think it's going to be a good year, and part of that is fiscal stimulus," he said. "But the point is, it's going to slow in 2019 and 2020. That's the standard forecast that's out there."

Bullard, a nonvoting member of the policymaking Federal Open Market Committee, was interviewed at the Fed's annual retreat in Jackson Hole, Wyoming.

In recent weeks President Donald Trump has repeatedly criticized Fed Chair Jerome Powell for raising rates.

"I'm not thrilled," Trump told CNBC's Joe Kernen in an interview last month. "Because we go up and every time you go up they want to raise rates again. I don't really — I am not happy about it."