FOMC: Taper continues its baby steps
Fed tapers $10 billion
The Federal Open Market Committee will continue to taper and reduce its bond purchases by another $10 billion, according to the committee's latest March meeting minutes.
Beginning in May, the Committee will add to its holdings of agency mortgage-backed securities at a pace of $20 billion per month, compared to $25 billion per month.
Also, the FOMC decided to add to its holdings of longer-term Treasury securities at a pace of $25 billion per month rather than $30 billion per month.
“March indicates that growth in economic activity has picked up recently, after having slowed sharply during the winter in part because of adverse weather conditions,” the meeting stated.
Meanwhile, the meeting noted that the unemployment rate remains elevated, and household spending is rising more quickly.
“Business fixed investment edged down, while the recovery in the housing sector remained slow. Fiscal policy is restraining economic growth, although the extent of restraint is diminishing. Inflation has been running below the committee's longer-run objective, but longer-term inflation expectations have remained stable,” it continued.
In determining how long to maintain the current 0 to 1/4% target range for the federal funds rate, the Committee said it will assess progress — both realized and expected — toward its objectives of maximum employment and 2% inflation.