U.S. Fed needs to see "several more months of data" before considering policy shift: official

May 14, 2021

Washington (US), May 14: The U.S. Federal Reserve needs to see "several more months of data" before considering changes to its ultra-easy monetary policy, a senior Fed official said on Thursday.
"We need to see several more months of data before we get a clear picture of whether we have made substantial progress towards our dual mandate goals," Fed governor Christopher Waller said at the Global Interdependence Center's annual conference.
"Now is the time we need to be patient, steely-eyed central bankers, and not be head-faked by temporary data surprises," Waller said, expecting the Fed to maintain an accommodative policy for some time.
Waller's remarks came after the Labor Department reported last week that U.S. employers added 266,000 jobs in April, far fewer than economists' estimates of 1 million new jobs, with the unemployment rate little changed at 6.1 percent.
"The May and June jobs report may reveal that April was an outlier, but we need to see that first before we start thinking about adjusting our policy stance. We also need to see if the unusually high price pressures we saw in the April CPI report will persist in the months ahead," he said.
U.S. consumer prices in April rose 0.8 percent from the previous month and 4.2 percent from a year ago, the Labor Department reported Wednesday. It marks the largest 12-month growth since a 4.9-percent increase for the period ending September 2008.
"Despite the unexpectedly high CPI inflation report yesterday, the factors putting upward pressure on inflation are temporary, and an accommodative monetary policy continues to have an important role to play in supporting the recovery," Waller said, expecting inflation to return to the central bank's target after exceeding 2 percent this year and next year.
"In my view, this fluctuation is okay-our new framework is designed to tolerate a moderate overshoot of inflation for some time as long as longer-term inflation expectations remain well-anchored at 2 percent," he said.
The Fed has pledged to keep its benchmark interest rates unchanged at the record-low level of near zero, while continuing its asset purchase program at least at the current pace of 120 billion U.S. dollars per month until the economic recovery makes "substantial further progress."
Source: Xinhua