Fed could begin an $15 billion a month tapering as soon as mid-November: minutes
Federal Reserve officials discussed a plan to start to slow down emergency support for the economy in either mid-November or mid-December at their Sept. 21-22 policy meeting, according to minutes of the gathering released Wednesday.
Fed officials are discussing when to slow down, or taper, the $120 billion per month in Treasury and mortgage-backed securities. After their meeting, Fed officials said the plan could start “soon” and end by the middle of next year.
According to meeting minutes, officials discussed “an illustrative plan” to reduce the purchases by $15 billion per month.
The plan would reduce monthly Treasury purchases by $10 billion and $5 billion in the case of MBS purchases. “Several” Fed officials said they preferred to proceed at a more rapid pace.
No decision was made.
“Participants generally assessed that, provided that the economic recovery remained broadly on track, a gradual tapering process that concluded around the middle of next year would likely be appropriate,” the minutes said.
Economists think the Fed will announce a plan to taper at the end of its Nov. 2-3 meeting.
were higher in afternoon trading after the minutes were released.