Fed's Bullard: "Two more" rate hikes needed in 2023 to cool inflation

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Fed's Bullard: "Two more" rate hikes needed in 2023 to cool inflation
Credit: © Reuters.

Investing.com -- The U.S. may need to raise interest rates two more times this year to help corral stubbornly elevated inflation, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis President James Bullard said on Monday.

Speaking at an event, Bullard noted that the rate of price increases has not come down "fast enough," while the health of the U.S. economy has been "fairly robust" in 2023.

"So for that reason, I think we're going to have to grind higher with the policy rate in order to put enough downward pressure on inflation to return inflation to target in a timely manner," he said.

Bullard argued that he thinks two more rate bumps will be necessary in 2023, adding that he has previously advocated for the Fed to make similar moves "sooner rather than later." 

The Fed has already rolled out ten consecutive hikes to its benchmark rate in a little over a year in a bid to bring the inflation rate down to its ultimate goal of 2%. But, following the Fed's latest increase of 25 basis points earlier this month, debate has swirled around whether the U.S. central bank will push pause on this tightening campaign.

Last week, Fed President Jerome Powell Powell hinted that volatility in the banking sector may mean that policymakers will not need to raise rates as much as they had initially anticipated. However, he said that the Fed "could afford to look at" recent economic data before making a decision.

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