PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – The economy is still growing, but slowly, and we are not on the verge of a “double dip” recession, according to the head of the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.

In a speech today to the Villanova Business Leaders’ Forum, Charles Plosser (at lectern in photo) made a prediction of gradually accelerating economic growth that was hopeful but not exactly upbeat — especially his outlook on employment.

“I expect to see only modest declines in the unemployment rate,” he told the breakfast gathering, “probably little change over the rest of this year but then gradually falling to 8½, perhaps 8 percent by the end of 2012.”

Perhaps most discouraging, Plosser says, there’s little if anything the Fed can do to address the issue.

“It would be nice if we could snap our fingers and have the silver bullet,” he said.

He says he dissented from the Fed’s most recent moves because he thinks they’re counterproductive at this point.  He thinks what the Fed should be focusing on is inflation and setting explicit targets for how much inflation can grow.

Reported by Pat Loeb, KYW Newsradio 1060


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