Fed should address falling U.S. inflation expectations: Charles Evans

Bank President Evans takes a question during a round table with the media in Shanghai

"When I look at the downward drift in multiple expectations measures, I find it tougher to confidently buy into the idea that inflation today is just temporarily low once again", Evans said in remarks prepared for delivery to the UBS European Conference in London.

The Fed's preferred gauge of inflation now stands at 1.3 percent and has undershot the central bank's 2 percent for 5-1/2 years.

Fed officials have mostly written off the decline as owing to "transitory" and "idiosyncratic" factors, and expressed confidence that inflation will soon rise to 2 percent as the labor market continues to tighten.

The Federal Reserve should keep its benchmark interest rate at current levels until there is an upswing in inflation, St. Louis Fed President James Bullard said on Tuesday.

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"By and large, central bankers are conservative types who view their most important task as preventing an outbreak of 1970s-style inflation", he said.

"I have argued that I think we still have a ways to go with respect to inflation".

While consumer price inflation has receded this year, stock indexes have hit record highs.

Mr. Evans also said he was anxious that too much of the case to boost rates right now rests on fears that very low rates will generate financial instability by way of fueling excessive risk-taking on the back of cheap borrowing costs. "Financial stability is obviously very important". "We should now be fortifying our efforts - reinforcing our commitment to symmetry - so that future policy actions have the best chance for success in a low equilibrium interest rate world".

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