Fed's Evans: To hike when jobless rate below 6.5% (by Greg Robb)
WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) -- Chicago Federal Reserve President Charles Evans, the leading proponent of having the central bank tie its low-rate pledge to economic conditions, on Tuesday tweaked his influential formula, saying policy makers should vow low rates until unemployment falls below 6.5%, as long as inflation is not forecast to rise above 2.5%. In the past, Evans has advocated that the Fed offer assurances it will keep short-term rates low until the jobless rate falls to 7%, as long as inflation remains below 3%. Evans said the 7% threshold now seems "too conservative." He said he also lowered his inflation safeguard because it made "many people anxious." The Fed is seen as moving slowly but steadily toward an overhaul of its communications strategy. At the moment, the Fed uses a calendar-date approach, saying it expects to keep rates near zero until mid-2015.