Fed Steadfast on Aggressive Easing... For Now


The U.S. Federal Reserve may have to slow or stop buying assets before seeing the pickup in hiring the bold program is designed to deliver, due to concern over its possible costs, minutes of the Fed's meeting last month showed on Wednesday.

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"A number of participants stated that an ongoing evaluation of the efficacy, costs, and risks of asset purchases might well lead the committee to taper or end its purchases before it judged that a substantial improvement in the outlook for the labor market had occurred," the minutes said.

The Fed voted last month to maintain its third round of so-called quantitative easing, or QE3, at a $85 billion monthly pace, while committing to hold interest rates near zero until unemployment hits 6.5 percent, provided inflation does not risk rising above 2.5 percent. (Reporting by Alister Bull and Pedro da Costa; Editing by Neil Stempleman)