AMELIA ISLAND, Fla. (Reuters) - The economy’s weak performance at the start of the year should slow Federal Reserve plans for a rate increase, now broadly expected for the central bank’s June meeting, St. Louis Federal Reserve bank president James Bullard said on Monday.
“The first quarter was disappointing...It was consumption growth that was weaker. That is a concern. On inflation the numbers were disappointing,” said Bullard, who feels in the current low-growth economic climate the Fed may need at most a single rate increase.
Given the data, he said, moving in June would raise concerns the Fed was being guided more by the calendar and market expectations of a rate increase then.
Reporting by Howard Schneider; Editing by Andrea Ricci