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Fed's Bullard says time is right to reduce central bank's bond buying - WSJ

FILE PHOTO: St. Louis Federal Reserve Bank President James Bullard speaks at a public lecture in Singapore October 8, 2018. REUTERS/Edgar Su/File Photo

(Reuters) -The U.S. Federal Reserve is in a “very good” position to start reducing the pace of its bond buying program, St. Louis Fed President James Bullard told the Wall Street Journal in an interview published on Tuesday.

“With the economy growing at 7% and the pandemic coming under better and better control, I think the time is right to pull back emergency measures,” Bullard said.

He added the reduction in Treasury and mortgage bond purchases can start once the Federal Open Market Committee was ready.

The minutes of the central bank’s June policy meeting, published last week, reflected a divided Fed wrestling with new inflation risks and relatively high unemployment, with “various participants” feeling the conditions for reducing the central bank’s asset purchases would be “met somewhat earlier than they had anticipated.”

Bullard also told the Journal that the recent drop in bond yields was a “bullish” development and that it makes him “comfortable with the idea that the economy will continue to grow very robustly through the second half of this year, and go through the first half of 2022, and all of 2022.”

On the housing sector, he said he did not believe it was in a bubble right now, but was worried that central bank purchases risked overheating it, according to the WSJ.

“I am a little bit concerned that we’re feeding into an incipient housing bubble... I think we don’t need to be doing that with the economy growing at 7%.”

Reporting by Shubham Kalia; Editing by Shinjini Ganguli