Fed's Mester supports taper start in Nov, sees rate hike in 2022

FILE PHOTO: Cleveland Federal Reserve Bank President Loretta Mester poses during an interview on the sidelines of the American Economic Association’s annual meeting in San Diego, California, U.S., January 3, 2020. REUTERS/ Ann Saphir/File Photo

(Reuters) – The Federal Reserve should start reducing its support for the economy in November and could start raising interest rates by the end of next year should labor markets continue to improve as expected, Cleveland Federal Reserve Bank President Loretta Mester said on Friday.

The Fed promised to keep buying $120 billion in assets each month until the economy has made “substantial further progress” toward the Fed’s goals of maximum employment and 2% inflation.

“In my view, the economy has met those conditions, and I support starting to dial back our purchases in November and concluding them over the first half of next year,” Mester said in remarks prepared for delivery to the Ohio Bankers League.

The economy has also ‘largely’ met the Fed’s bar for raising interest rates as well, but “the economy is still some distance from maximum employment,” she said. Still, she added, she expects the conditions for raising interest rates to be met by the end of next year.

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