August 2, 2021

(Reuters) – Federal Reserve Governor Christopher Waller on Monday said the U.S. central bank could start to reduce its support for the economy by October if the next two monthly jobs reports each show employment rising by 800,000 to 1 million, as he expects.

There’s “no reason” to go slow on tapering the Fed’s bond purchase program, Waller said in an interview on CNBC.

“If the jobs reports come in as I think they’re going to in the next two reports then in my view with tapering we should go early and go fast, in order to make sure we’re in position to raise rates in 2022, if we have to,” he said, adding that he could see an announcement in September and the first slowdown in purchases in October.

That’s a few months earlier than most on Wall Street are expecting, and quicker than Fed Governor Lael Brainard suggested she’d be open to in remarks made on Friday.

An increase of some 1.6 million to 2 million jobs over the next two reports – the first of which is due out this Friday – would mean that the economy will have regained 85% of its job losses by the beginning of September, Waller said.

“There’s no reason you’d want to go slow on the taper, to prolong it – you want to get it done and get it over.”

(Reporting by Ann Saphir; editing by Jonathan Oatis and Nick Zieminski)