The Federal Reserve is already a "little bit too late" in the tightening process, with current economic conditions no longer justifying leaving rates at zero, said St. Louis Fed President James Bullard. "I think we have to move now or soon, in order to be in the right position as the economy continues to evolve," Bullard said in an interview with the Financial Times. Inflation is not that far below the Fed's 2% annual rate target excluding oil prices, he said, also dismissing concerns about the soaring dollar. Recent soft data was likely due to cold and snowy conditions in the northeast, he added. "To the extent we have had weakness in the first quarter it will probably bounce back in the second quarter, as it did last year," he said. Bullard, who does not have a vote on the Fed's policy committee, has been on record pressing for quick Fed action this year.
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