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MNI: Fed’s Bullard Says Rates Still Need To ‘Grind Higher’


The Federal Reserve needs to raise interest rates further because growth and employment are likely to remain resilient and inflation is set to decline but only slowly, St. Louis Fed President James Bullard told reporters Friday.

“Because of those factors I think we are going to have to grind higher in terms of the policy rate,” he said in press briefing from Minneapolis. “The thing to do here is to wait and see what the data shows before the June meeting.”

Asked if he still saw the need for 50 basis points of more hikes as he had before the May meeting, Bullard said: “I have an open mind on June and will review my SEP projections when I get closer to the meeting.”

If price pressures don’t subside as much as policymakers expect by the end of the year, then the FOMC could be compelled to resume hikes, he said.

(See: MNI INTERVIEW: Fed Pause Could Make Inflation More Entrenched)

“That’s a risk. Wall Street is still to glued to the transitory story and inflation doesn’t come down fast enough or even goes sideways or even ticks up some, then the Fed is going to have to do more in that scenario and that's something I think markets are unprepared for."

MNI Washington Bureau | +1 202 371 2121 |
MNI Washington Bureau | +1 202 371 2121 |

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