The Chairman of the Federal Home Loan Bank Board said yesterday President Carter's anti-inflation efforts so far have been ineffectual, and he called for imposition of voluntary wage-price guideposts to deal with the problem.

Robert H. McKinney, whom Carter appointed to the post, told the National Mortgage Conference he would like to see the president "come forward with some kind of direct guidelines." He termed the present program "very ineffectual."

McKinney made his remarks as top administration policymakers met privately late yesterday for further discussions of a possible wage-price guidelines program, with hopes of sending Carter recommendations later this week.

Although the White House has been silent on the issue, sources say the policymakers are considering a wage limitation of 7-8 per cent and a price ceiling of 5.5 per cent, to be enforced by informal sanctions.

The developments came as, separately, the government reported a moderate rebound in retail sales across the nation last month, some what offsetting a sharp falloff that occurred in July.

Commerce Department figures showed retail sales rose a respectable 0.8 percent in August. Revised statistics indicated sales volume fell 0.6 percent in July, rather than rising 0.2 percent as estimated previously.

The bulk of the revision reflected late-breaking data on auto sales, which apparently fell more rapidly than had been thought.

However, William A. Cox, the department's deputy chief economist, said it still was too early to tell what the figures showed about the strength of the economy. "We want to see the September figures," Cox said.