WASHINGTON, March 21 Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen was likely just repeating the views of private analysts and investors when she said the central bank could raise interest rates six months after ending a bond-buying program, a top policymaker said on Friday.
"On the 'considerable period' being six months, the surveys that I had seen from the private sector had that kind of number penciled in," St Louis Federal Reserve President James Bullard said during a lunch with journalists. "That wasn't very different from what we had heard from financial markets. So, I just think she's just repeating that."
Bullard's remarks were the first by a Fed policymaker regarding Yellen's statement on the timing of the Fed's first rate hike. Following a two-day policy meeting, the U.S. central bank on Wednesday said the first hike would likely come a considerable time after it ended a bond-buying stimulus program.
In a press conference the same day, Yellen said that a considerable period likely meant six months, a remark that helped to fuel a sell-off in the bond market as investors bet that the Fed was planning to raise interest rates earlier than many had expected. (Reporting by Jason Lange; Editing by Paul Simao)