The test on inflation will come when the central bank must withdraw its record stimulus, said Peter Hooper, chief economist at Deutsche Bank Securities Inc. in New York. The policy-setting Federal Open Market Committee said last month it plans to keep its benchmark interest rate “exceptionally low” until at least late 2014. Hooper said Bernanke has the tools to contain inflation when it comes time to exit.
“If it looks like the economy is going to overheat, the Fed has a tremendous amount of ammunition,”
such as selling assets or raising the interest rate on excess reserves, Hooper said. “Right now the emphasis is on, ‘Hey, the economy is still weak. Let’s focus on getting that back to the norm.’”