Dec 2 (Reuters) - Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta President
Raphael Bostic told the Reuters Next conference on Thursday it
would be appropriate to end the central bank's bond-buying
program by the end of March to allow the Fed the option to raise
rates to deal with inflation.
The Fed, which began tapering its bond-buying last month on
a pace that would end the program entirely by June, is set to
consider compressing that timeline when policymakers next meet
on Dec. 14-15.
With robust growth, the job market improving and inflation
running more than twice the Fed's 2% target, "I think having
this finished some time before the end of the first quarter
would be in our interest," Bostic said.
And if inflation continues to run as high as 4% through next
year, as some forecasters project, "theres going to be a good
case to be made that we should be pulling forward more interest
rate increases and perhaps even do more than the one Ive
If data should, by contrast, come in softer than expected,
the Fed would adjust accordingly, he said.
Once the Fed starts lifting rates, he said, it will likely
move at a "slow and steady" pace, though if inflation does not
recede as expected over the next year or two it may need to
"take more strident steps" to rein it in.
To watch the ReutersNext conference please register here https://reutersevents.com/events/next/
(Reporting by Ann Saphir, Lindsay Dunsmuir and Dan Burns;
Editing by Chizu Nomyama)