Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis President James Bullard said the Fed probably won't begin a new round of bond purchases following "encouraging" data showing the U.S. economy gained 200,000 payroll jobs in December.

"Hopefully, we will keep this momentum going in 2012," Bullard told reporters Saturday after a speech in Chicago. "The tone of the data has been very strong" and the central bank "probably could wait and see for now" before deciding whether there is a need for more accommodation, he said.

Policy makers are divided over whether they should see if the economy deteriorates before taking additional steps to try cutting borrowing costs and boosting job creation. The U.S. economy is growing moderately amid "apparent slowing" in global growth, with "some improvement in overall labor market conditions," Fed officials said last month. The unemployment rate fell to 8.5 percent from 8.7 percent in November, figures from the Labor Department showed last week.

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