The President and CEO of the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta Dennis P. Lockhart, began his term as the fourteenth president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta March 1, 2007. His responsibilities include monetary policy, bank supervision and regulation and payment services.
The Federal Reserve Bank in Atlanta serves as one of twelve regional Federal Reserve Banks, which along with the Board of Governors in Washington, D.C. and the Federal Open Market Committee, make up the structure of the US Federal Reserve System.
Lockhart began the morning giving his view of the state of the economy. Lockhart's positive factors affecting the economy included a growing consumer sector, business investment in equipment and software, strong exports and use of credit by businesses and consumers. However, he also pointed out the factors slowing the US economic growth which included a weakening housing sector, rising gasoline prices, high rate of unemployment and the direction of inflation.
"Although the economy may have lost some momentum at the start of the year, and notwithstanding the factors exerting a drag on growth, I still expect a continuing moderate pace of expansion," Lockhart said concluding his forecast for the economic future.Although the economy may have lost some momentum at the start of the year, and notwithstanding the factors exerting a drag on growth, I still expect a continuing moderate pace of expansion. President and CEO of Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta Dennis Lockhart.
Lockhart then gave his assessment of the US manufacturing sector and the effects it has on the labor force and overall economic production.
"Although U.S. exports have grown rapidly, the United States is not the world's largest goods exporter. China and Germany export more manufactured goods than the United States," said Lockhart.
Lockhart then went on to explain manufacturing productivity in relation to the Gross Domestic Product, GDP. He also described industries, such as apparel, that struggled during the recession and are not seeing much difference in production since the recovery. Although he did point out that the computer and electronic industries' output are 20 percent higher than before the recession.
"It is, of course, the Federal Reserve's responsibility to ensure that temporary ups and downs in the rate of headline consumer inflation do not turn into a persistent inflationary trend. In my view, the objective is growth in overall consumer prices at an annual rate of about 2 percent. And I think the relevant period for judging success is a medium-term period of three or four years," Lockhart said, wrapping up the morning by giving his prediction of the overall inflation rate and the Federal Reserve's responsibility in relation to the inflation rate.