Fed Officials Say They Are Closely Watching for Right Moment to Make Policy Shift

Several Federal Reserve officials said this week that the central bank is closely watching economic developments after a stronger-than-expected surge of inflation last month and will be ready to shift policy if necessary.

“If we got to the point where we were comfortable on the public health side that the pandemic was largely behind us, and was not going to resurge in some way that was surprising, then I think we could talk about adjusting monetary policy,” St. Louis Fed President James Bullard told reporters after a speech Wednesday. “I don’t think we’re quite to that point yet, but it does seem like we’re getting close.”

Atlanta Fed President Raphael Bostic, a voting member of the Fed’s rate-setting committee, made similar remarks in a Bloomberg television interview.

“We’re going to have to be very nimble in terms of our monitoring of the economy and our policy responses,” Mr. Bostic said Wednesday.

The latest remarks came as the Fed was set to release minutes from its late April policy-setting meeting. The minutes are slated to be released at 2 p.m. ET and are likely to show broad agreement among officials on the need to continue supporting the economy with near-zero interest rates and bond purchases.

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