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Aug. 27, 2021, 8:46 a.m. EDT

Fed's Harker backs starting taper 'sooner rather than later'

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By Greg Robb

Philadelphia Fed President Patrick Harker said he wanted to move toward tapering asset purchases "sooner rather than later." In an interview with CNBC, Harker said that he didn't think the $120 billion per month of asset purchases were "doing a whole lot right now." The economy is being held back by supply issues that lower interest rates can't solve, he said. Harker said he was still supportive of "moving the taper along" despite potential damage to the economy from the coronavirus delta variant. The Philadelphia Fed president said the rapid acceleration in inflation seen this year "may not be so transitory." Contacts in his district have said supply chain disruptions facing the home-building sector "won't be solved anytime soon," he said. Harker won't be a voting member of the Fed's interest-rate committee until 2023.

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