The US central bank could begin withdrawing stimulus this year as the economy rebounds, the Federal Reserve’s chairman, Jerome Powell, has said.
However, he said the bank was in no rush to raise interest rates despite a recent spike in inflation.
The US economy contracted sharply during the pandemic but has bounced back strongly in 2021.
But Mr Powell said he was monitoring the impact of the Delta variant which is currently sweeping the US.
During the crisis, the Federal Reserve slashed US interest rates to almost zeroand stepped up its purchases of government and corporate bonds — known as quantitative easing — to support the economy.
It has made it cheaper for consumers and businesses to borrow money, but also raised concerns it is contributing to inflation.
However, he said interest rate increases would be based upon the economy returning to maximum employment and inflation returning to the bank’s 2% target.