Fed's Bullard wants inflation pickup before tapering QE

LONDON Fri May 24, 2013 5:41am EDT

The Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis' President and CEO James Bullard speaks during the ''Hyman P. Minsky Conference on the State of the U.S. and World Economies,'' in New York, April 17, 2013. REUTERS/Keith Bedford

The Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis' President and CEO James Bullard speaks during the ''Hyman P. Minsky Conference on the State of the U.S. and World Economies,'' in New York, April 17, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/Keith Bedford

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LONDON (Reuters) - A top Federal Reserve official said on Friday U.S. inflation would have to pick up before he voted to scale back monetary policy stimulus and that this was unlikely to happen in the coming month.

"Before I would be in favor of tapering I would like to see some reassurance that inflation was going to move back towards target," St. Louis Fed President James Bullard said in a CNBC interview.

"I am concerned about this inflation number and we are only a little ways out from the June meeting so I don't quite see how that is going to turn around in a few weeks."

Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke said on Wednesday the U.S. central bank may at one of its next few policy meetings begin to trim its bond purchases from the current pace of $85 billion a month.

Those comments sparked gyrations across financial markets.

Asked about this market volatility, Bullard said big price swings had mainly been seen in Japanese markets and that it was understandable given the pace of the Nikkei's gains in the past six months.

"I wouldn't be surprised with that kind of action over that kind of time period that you are going to get some volatility," he said.

(Reporting by Mike Peacock and Swaha Pattanaik)

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