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US Fed governor urges faster pace of tapering as inflation surges

Published Nov 21, 2021


Washington (IANS) – US Federal Reserve Governor Christopher Waller has urged the central bank to speed up the pace of tapering asset purchases in response to the surging inflation.

"To me, the inflation data are starting to look a lot more like a big snowfall that will stay on the ground for a while, and that development is affecting my expectations of the level of monetary accommodation that is needed going forward," Waller said in an address at the Center for Financial Stability in New York.

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"The timing of any policy action is a decision for the FOMC (Federal Open Market Committee), but for my part the rapid improvement in the labour market and the deteriorating inflation data have pushed me towards favouring a faster pace of tapering and a more rapid removal of accommodation in 2022," he said, referring to the Fed's policy-making committee.

Waller pushed back the argument that monetary policy does not need to respond to temporary price pressures connected to supply constraints.

"All shocks tend to be transitory and eventually fade away; by this logic, the Fed should never respond to any shocks, but it sometimes does, as it should," he said.

James Bullard, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of St Louis, has also voiced support for speeding up the pace of tapering asset purchases.

"We could move faster – we kept optionality on this that we could speed up the taper if it is appropriate," Bullard told Bloomberg Television, adding that he had proposed to end asset purchases at the end of the first quarter next year.

The Fed began earlier this week to reduce its monthly asset purchase program of $120 billion by $15 billion. The central bank will make another $15 billion dollar cut to the monthly purchases in mid-December. At this pace, the tapering would be complete by June next year.

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The US consumer price index (CPI) rose 6.2 percent in October from a year earlier, the strongest annual gain in over 30 years, according to the Labour Department.


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