Federal Reserve Board Governor Roger W. Ferguson Jr. on Friday urged Brazilian officials to act decisively to end the country's economic crisis.

"It is now even more important that Brazil move as quickly as possible to implement a clearly sustainable fiscal position and regain the confidence of international markets and investors," Mr. Ferguson said.

The risk that Brazil's troubles could spread to the rest of Latin America is one of the biggest uncertainties facing policymakers, he said.

Asia's troubles appear over, except for Japan, which has yet to bottom out, he said.

The comments were included in a broad speech on monetary policy that Mr. Ferguson was scheduled to deliver to the East Hanover (N.J.) Chamber of Commerce. Bad weather prevented Mr. Ferguson from attending the event, but the Fed released the text of his remarks in Washington.

For 1999, Mr. Ferguson said, unemployment rates will stay low and inflation should remain in check because competition will prevent most companies from raising prices, he said.

Subscribe Now

Access to authoritative analysis and perspective and our data-driven report series.

14-Day Free Trial

No credit card required. Complete access to articles, breaking news and industry data.