January 12, 2017 / 6:20 PM / 6 months ago

St. Louis Fed's Bullard says Trump effects only apparent over time

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St. Louis Federal Reserve President James Bullard speaks at a public lecture on "Slow Normalization or No Normalization" in Singapore May 26, 2016.Edgar Su/File Photo

(Reuters) - The election of Donald Trump as U.S. president has not yet switched the U.S. economy to a new "regime" that requires a quick rise in interest rates, which can remain "fairly low" at least through 2017, St. Louis Federal Reserve bank president James Bullard said on Thursday.

Bullard said the policies outlined by Trump, if well designed, could raise productivity and growth by easing regulation and taxes, and focused spending in needed infrastructure.

But for now "the policy rate should remain exceptionally low," through at least 2017, Bullard said in remarks in New York.

"Any effects from the new administration's policies are only likely to be observed in 2018 and 2019," Bullard said.

That includes inflation. Bullard said he did not think inflation would surge in the near future.

Bullard in prior speeches has said he thinks the current policy rate, in a range of between .5 and .75 percentage points, is appropriate until the economy shows it has shifted to a "regime" of faster economic and productivity growth.

Reporting by Howard Schneider in Naples, Florida; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama

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