U.S. financial outlook mostly good, growth could outpace China: Fed’s Bullard

FILE PHOTO: St. Louis Federal Reserve Bank President James Bullard speaks at a public lecture in Singapore
FILE PHOTO: St. Louis Federal Reserve Bank President James Bullard speaks at a public lecture in Singapore October 8, 2018. REUTERS/Edgar Su/File Photo

February 16, 2021

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Financial conditions in the United States were “generally good” right now, with the potential for its economic growth to outpace China, St. Louis Fed president James Bullard said on Tuesday as the country heads into its second year of the COVID-19 pandemic.

In an interview on CNBC, Bullard said U.S. inflation was in “good shape … right now” and would likely move up this year, something the Fed would take “on board.”

As U.S. health officials move to inoculate the population against the coronavirus, the country has moved on from the kind of panic situation it faced last spring and could see a “roaring” economy as it emerges from the pandemic, he said.

On bitcoin, which vaulted above $50,000 for the first time on Tuesday, Bullard said the cryptocurrency’s price did not affect Fed policy.

Bullard also noted recent volatility in the markets with GameStop and other equities but said it appeared to be normal trading, not a bubble, telling CNBC: “You do see speculative frenzies from time to time in markets, and that’s part of the process.”

(Reporting by Doina Chiacu; Writing by Susan Heavey; Editing by Alex Richardson)