Fed's Fisher says deflation is the concern now

DALLAS, Dec 18 (Reuters) - Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas President Richard Fisher said on Thursday that the U.S. central bank’s duty now was to do everything it could to prevent deflation and it could worry about inflation later.

“Price pressures now are in the other direction,” he said in response to a question at a World Affairs Council of Dallas/Fort Worth luncheon about potential future inflation. “We have to do everything we can to lift the economy up and prevent deflation from taking (hold).”

Fisher said that at some point policy-makers may need “an exit strategy,” but this isn’t the time.

Fisher, a well-known inflation “hawk,” said that if and when inflation returns he will be sounding alarms again.

“We’re well aware that at some point, God willing, we’ll have to tighten and we’ll have to act and I’m here to tell you that my voice will be very loud at that juncture, but right now that’s not the issue,” Fisher said. (Reporting by Glenn Somerville; Editing by Leslie Adler)