Fed's Bullard says prefers bond-buying to end in October

NEW YORK, June 26 Thu Jun 26, 2014 2:42pm EDT

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NEW YORK, June 26 (Reuters) - St. Louis Fed President James Bullard on Thursday said he prefers the Fed to end its bond-buying program in October, rather than in December, and stuck by his forecast that interest rates should start to rise by the first quarter of 2015.

U.S. economic growth should rebound this quarter to a pace of about 3.5 percent to 4 percent, he told reporters after a speech on inequality at the Council on Foreign Relations. The economy shrank at a 2.9 percent annual pace last quarter.

Inflation, which has been too low, will pick up this year and wage increases will follow, he predicted.

Bullard, who does not have a vote on the Fed's policy-setting committee this year, said his rate rise forecast is data-dependent. (Reporting by Gertrude Chavez-Dreyfuss; writing by Ann Saphir; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)

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