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Fed's Lockhart : Rise in Long-Term Yields Tied to Improving Economy Would Be OK

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01/15/2014 | 08:06pm EST

ATLANTA--Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta President Dennis Lockhart said Wednesday that a rise in long-term yields that is tied to an improving economy would be OK from the central bank's perspective, in remarks that largely reprised a speech given earlier in the week.

The official also said the Fed, having seen a rapid drop in unemployment, may soon have to revisit its guidance that it won't consider raising short-term interest rates until the jobless rate hits 6.5%. It may be that the Fed has to lower that goal in order to more clearly communicate what it will do with monetary policy, he said. In December, the jobless rate fell to 6.7% from 7%.

Mr. Lockhart again expressed his support for continued cuts in the Fed's bond-buying stimulus efforts and said that the Fed's $4 trillion balance sheet may hit around $4.5 trillion when the asset buying comes to an end.

-Laura Stevens in Atlanta contributed to this article.

Write to Michael S. Derby at michael.derby@wsj.com

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