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MarketWatch MarketPulseFeb 22, 2018
Fed's Bullard casts doubt on expectations of four interest-rate hikes this year
St. Louis Fed President James Bullard on Thursday tried to tamp down the growing expectations of economists that the U.S. central bank will engineer four quarter-point rate hikes this year. "The idea that we have to go 100 basis points in 2018, that seems like a lot to me," Bullard said in an interview on CNBC. Everything would have to go just right, with upside surprises, to justify that pace of tightening, he said. Bullard, a dovish regional Fed president, is not a voting member of the Fed's interest-rate committee this year. Bullard said the bond market "is doing our work for us" by moving rates up. "I don't think we have to chase the 10-year up," he said. Four rate hikes this year will turn Fed policy "restrictive," with inflation still below the 2% target. "Why are you doing that?" he asked.

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