© . FILE PHOTO: Charles Evans, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, looks on at the Global Interdependence Center Members Delegation Event in Mexico City, Mexico, Feb. 27, 2020. REUTERS/Edgard Garrido/File Photo
() -As expectations mount that the US Federal Reserve will step up its efforts to contain inflation with bigger rate hikes, Chicago Fed President Charles Evans and Atlanta Fed President Raphael Bostic offered somewhat moderate counterpoint on Thursday . “It’s time for us to move away from our emergency stance — I think it’s very appropriate that we move our policies closer to neutrality — but I think we need to do it in a measured way,” Bostic told a virtual reality show. Chicago Fed Virtual. conference on economic mobility. Evans said: “I’m optimistic we can go neutral, look around and find that we’re not necessarily that far from where we need to be.” The Fed is widely expected to raise interest rates by a higher-than-usual half a percentage point next month and begin to clean up its massive balance sheet, as it ramps up the fight against inflation, which is now more than three times the Fed’s target of 2%. lies. † Both Evans and Bostic have said they support the Fed’s plans to tighten policy, and both have previously said they are open to a 50 basis point move if necessary. But their voices calling for more moderation contrast with those of the more aggressive wing of the Fed, including St. Louis Fed President James Bullard, who earlier on Thursday called for a rate hike this year that would require half-point hikes. needed for the rest of the Fed’s 2022 meetings.