Members of the Federal Open Market Committee consider further tapering of their bond-buying program “likely,” according to minutes of the March meeting released Wednesday.
Tapering began in January, dropping to $55 billion in March from $85 billion in monthly purchases throughout 2013. FOMC members cautioned that further tapering was not on a set course, and said asset purchases would continue until the labor market outlook “improved substantially,” according to the minutes.
All members agreed on moving away from quantitative thresholds like unemployment for raising the federal funds rate, which now stands at zero to 0.25%, but differed on how and when to express rate decisions in future meetings. “Almost all members” thought rate decisions should reflect progress in members' expectations for higher employment and 2% inflation, according to the minutes.
Thirteen of the 16 members saw 2015 as the appropriate time to start increasing the federal funds target rate, while there was broader consensus that the rate could be closer to 4% by 2016.
It was the first meeting led by Chairwoman Janet Yellen.