Bullard is more bullish on the U.S. economy than most economists surveyed by CNNMoney. He predicts the unemployment rate will fall to around 7% by the end of the year and the economy will grow around 3.2% in 2013 and 2014.
Such conditions would probably qualify as the "substantial improvement" in the job market that the Fed wants to see before it backs away from its $85 billion a month in asset purchases. But Bullard has also cautioned the Fed against putting too much weight on any single economic statistic.
In a statement earlier this month, Bullard reminded Fed watchers that the central bank will be looking at data on labor force participation, hours and wages -- not just the unemployment rate.
Independent economists rank Bullard leaning slightly hawkish on policy. Bullard was last a voting member on the FOMC in 2010. That year, he voted in favor of all the Fed's monetary policy decisions, including the move in November 2010 to launch a second round of so-called quantitative easing.
The Federal Reserve has moved boldly, even as it debates internally over whether its monetary policy actions help the economy.
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