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Bostic: Fed's tools limited as long as health trajectory remains in doubt

President and Chief Executive Officer of the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta Raphael W. Bostic speaks at a European Financial Forum event in Dublin, Ireland February 13, 2019. REUTERS/Clodagh Kilcoyne

(Reuters) - The Federal Reserve’s available tools, such as expanding its monthly asset purchases, aren’t the best methods at this point for ensuring the U.S. economy returns to steady growth, Atlanta Fed president Raphael Bostic said on Monday.

Asked about the need for the Fed to up its pace of bond purchases, Bostic said “foremost this is a public health crisis and I think distracting from that reality could get us to a place where we are focusing on the wrong thing.”

“We have signaled pretty clearly that we are going to continue positioning our policy to provide support. But I think there is a risk thinking that the Fed’s tools are the exclusive or the best positioned tools to get the economy into a more stable trajectory,” he said.

Bostic said he was worried about the deadlock in Congress over further fiscal support.

Reporting by Howard Schneider; Editing by Andrea Ricci

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