The Federal Reserve needs to act sooner rather than later on interest rate hikes if it hopes to make meaningful progress against rising inflation, St. Louis Fed Govenor James Bullard said on Monday.

“I do think we need to front-load more of our planned removal of accommodation than we would have previously. We’ve been surprised at the upside on inflation. This is a lot of inflation,” Bullard said in an interview on CNBC.

Inflation in the U.S. has been on the upswing for the last year, cutting into consumer confidence and inspiring widespread pessimism about the economy. To address this, the Fed last year began to take on a more hawkish tone and abandoned the notion that inflation would abate as supply chain bottlenecks were corrected.

This did not happen soon enough, prompting Fed Chairman Jerome Powell to assert last month that the central bank would begin raising rates along a tentative schedule in 2022. Last weekend, Bullard deferred to Powell on the size of any rate hike in March.

However, Bullard surprised markets by encouraging a full percenetage point hike by July. He continued to push for an end to an overly accommodative monetary policy in his recent interview.

"Our credibility is on the line here and we do have to react to data," Bullard said, pointing to low unemployment numbers and high inflation readings since October. "I do think we can do it in a way that’s organized and not disruptive to markets.”

Bullard’s position is a more hawkish one than some of his other Fed counterparts at other regional branches, who have expressed more of a “wait and see” posture. Last week, Raphael Bostic, the head of the Atlanta Fed, said he also expected anywhere from “three, maybe four” interest-rate hikes in 2022, but declined to say if action should be taken at the upcoming meeting.

Mary Daly, president of the San Francisco Federal Reserve Bank, acknowledged that a rate hike was possible in March, but cautioned against taking any move too abruptly for fear it could rattle markets.

“I look at the data and I see that it is obvious that we need to pull some of the accommodation out of the economy," Daly told CBS News' "Face the Nation" on Sunday. "But history tells us with Fed policy that abrupt and aggressive action can actually have a destabilizing effect on the very growth and price stability we're trying to achieve.”

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