WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. Federal Reserve has made “substantial further progress” toward its inflation goal in order to begin tapering asset purchases, Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond President Thomas Barkin said on Monday, as he indicated U.S. employment numbers may soon follow.
“It’s pretty clear to me we have had substantial further progress against our inflation goal,” Barkin said during an event at the Rotary Club of Atlanta. “I’m pretty optimistic about the labor market. … If the labor market opens as I suggested it might, then I think we’re going to get there in relatively short order.”
Barkin added that he would wait until next year to determine whether the U.S. central bank had hit its inflation and employment mandates for beginning to raise interest rates from near zero.
“I kind of think let’s look at it next year and see what happens and if the numbers hit, great, if they don’t, we’ve got time because it will show there’s still more time for the economy to grow,” he said.
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