WASHINGTON The Fed's December rate hike may have spurred recent declines in equity markets because it was misinterpreted as a firm commitment to raise rates steadily through the year, St. Louis Fed President James Bullard said on Thursday.
Bullard said in an interview on CNBC that despite the Fed's commitment to a gradual, "data-dependent" rate path, the Fed's own economic projections made it seem rates were on a preset course.
"I worry that we somehow signal that we are on a freight train path," said Bullard, who is advocating changes in how the Fed presents quarterly forecasts which currently include the rate path each member expects will be appropriate.
(Reporting by Howard Schneider; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)
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