The Federal Reserve is poised to end its $120 billion-per-month bond-purchasing programme in November, but uncertainty over when inflationary pressures will subside is raising concerns within the central bank.

This year, Fed Chairman Jerome Powell and senior officials have downplayed concerns that a price spike during the uneven epidemic recovery would result in permanently higher inflation. The most notable price rises have been associated with items most affected by the shutdown and reopening of the economy, but there are indicators that inflation is coming from a broader range of products and services.

In recent weeks, policymakers have stated that they continue to believe that inflation would fall on its own as supply-chain kinks are ironed out. Recent public utterances, however, indicate that they are retaining that position with less zeal than before.

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For the time being, the Fed's policy meeting on November 2-3 will be focused on turning the switch to begin reducing, or tapering, asset purchases later in the month. Mr. Powell has won broad agreement among officials on a plan to scale out their pandemic-era stimulus programme by next June, lowering purchases by $15 billion per month.

Officials do not want to fuel monetary stimulus by purchasing assets whenever they believe the economy requires higher interest rates, which means they want to finish the taper before raising rates.

“I do think it’s time to taper, and I don’t think it’s time to raise rates,” Mr. Powell said at a virtual discussion last week.