Bond purchases buffer economy, Fed official says

Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis president Narayana Kocherlakota said Friday the Fed’s $85 billion in monthly bond purchases help buffer the US economy against the partial shutdown of government and growth hasn’t been ‘‘good enough’’ to warrant a pullback in record stimulus.

‘‘It’s hard to justify reducing the pace of purchases’’ if the Fed truly were committed to doing everything it can to support the jobs recovery, Kocherlakota said in an interview in Minneapolis. Fed stimulus will serve as a ‘‘useful buffer’’ against fiscal policy headwinds, said Kocherlakota. .

The Federal Open Market Committee last month unexpectedly refrained from tapering asset purchases, citing fiscal policy as a risk to economic growth. Kocherlakota, who will vote on policy in 2014, has become one of the Fed’s most vocal proponents for record easing during the past year.