For the first time since the pandemic began, a majority of business economists believe the Federal Reserve is offering too many incentives, a marked shift from last spring that reflects growing concerns about high US inflation.
Around 52% of respondents to the National Association of Business Economists found the Fed "too stimulating," a new poll shows. Only 26% thought so in March.
The change in attitudes is the result of a strong economic recovery since the spring and an accompanying surge in inflation.
The US grew at an annual rate of 6.5% in the second quarter, which ran from April to June, and was still expanding rapidly in early August.
However, the robust recovery has also triggered the sharpest rise in inflation since 2008. Businesses have not been able to deliver all of the goods and services that customers demand, not least because of widespread labor and material shortages.
This scarcity has led to sharp increases in the price of new and used cars, groceries and other products.
Fed officials believe the rise in prices will subside by next year and that the annual rise in inflation will return to its pre-coronavirus trend of 2% or less.
Most economists agree with the Fed, but 58% of those polled by NABE said there is a greater risk that inflation will stay above the central bank's target for the next year.
The Fed has tried to prop up the US economy by keeping interest rates extremely low. The central bank achieved its strategy by lowering a bank-billed short-term policy rate to near zero and buying trillions of dollars in US Treasuries and mortgage-backed bonds.
These bond purchases have kept long-term rates very low and brought home mortgage rates below 3%.
Most economists assume that the Fed will begin to “shorten” or cut back bond purchases later this year. However, they don't expect the central bank to hike rates until the end of 2022.
The survey did not ask economists about the effects of the Delta strain of coronavirus. The Fed has become more concerned, with two senior officials saying Delta may change their minds on when the Fed should start tapering.
Read: Fed's Kashkari says Delta variant "plays a big role" in his taper decision
Likewise: Fed's Kaplan says he could reconsider his call for the throttling to begin in October if the delta option slows the economy
Most Fed leaders agreed in July that they should start reducing before the end of the year, but that was before the Delta variant emerged as a major threat.
Most business economists are in favor of stricter government vaccination regulations.
About 79% said companies should require their employees to be vaccinated before returning to work, the survey found. And 69% think the federal government should produce a standard document for citizens certifying that they have been vaccinated.