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The Federal Reserve debated speeding up tapering asset purchases at its November meeting as policymakers considered how soon they may need to raise interest rates to combat rising inflation, minutes from the meeting showed.
"Some participants preferred a somewhat faster pace of reductions that would result in an earlier conclusion to net purchases," the report said. "Some participants suggested that reducing the pace of net asset purchases by more than $15 billion each month could be warranted so that the Committee would be in a better position to make adjustments to the target range for the federal funds rate, particularly in light of inflation pressures."
Since then, several Fed officials have come out in favor of a faster taper.
MNI has reported Fed policymakers meeting next month will not only move up their forecasts for the timing of a first rate hike earlier and more aggressively into 2022, but also consider speeding up the pace of their QE taper order to possibly prepare for rate hikes sooner.
The Fed minutes come as U.S. inflation measured by the Fed's favorite PCE index jumped to 5% in the year to November, the fastest gain in more than three decades and well over double the central bank's official 2% target for price increases.
"Although participants expected significant inflation pressures to last for longer than they previously expected, they generally continued to anticipate that the inflation rate would diminish significantly during 2022 as supply and demand imbalances abated. Nonetheless, they indicated that their uncertainty regarding this assessment had increased. Many participants pointed to considerations that might suggest that elevated inflation could prove more persistent," the minutes said.