Although the U.S. labor market continues to improve, the slow pace may mean the Federal Reserve should sustain its aggressive bond-buying program in light of inflation that remains below the 2% Fed target, said Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis President James Bullard. "Bullard is a hawkish-leaning centrist on the [Federal Open Market Committee], and his comments should be taken quite seriously. This is an inopportune time to be talking about curtailing [quantitative easing]," said Ward McCarthy, chief financial economist at Jefferies Group and a former economist with the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond.

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