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US Economy Set to Grow Above 3% Next Year: Fed's Bullard

James Bullard on Closing Bell
cnbc.com
James Bullard on Closing Bell

The US economy is on track for a recovery and will grow above 3 percent next year, St. Louis Fed Bank President James Bullard told CNBC.

But Bullard, who will be a voting member of the Fed next year, said it's too early to tell when the central bank will start raising interest rates.

"Everything depends on how the data comes in," Bullard said in a live interview.

Bullard added that he was "disappointed" that financial markets had "too much focus" on interest rates when the Fed "has a quantitative easing program in place."

"You should be thinking about that quantitative easing program and where that may go next," he said. "It's not just interest rates anymore."

The Fed has been winding down its so-called quantitative easing, which it implemented last year during the credit crisis. The program largely involves loans and asset purchases—especially mortgage-backed securities—to keep credit markets flowing.

Several Fed members, including Bullard, have said that the central bank could soon begin selling some of the mortgage-backed securities it bought during the crisis now that credit markets have started to stabilize.

Earlier Wednesday, Richmond Fed Bank President Jeffrey Lacker downplayed concerns expressed by many investors that sales of housing-linked assets could disrupt a fragile housing market by pushing borrowing rates sharply higher.