Federal Reserve officials last month saw it taking some time before conditions would be met for scaling back their massive asset-purchase campaign.
"Participants noted that it would likely be some time until substantial further progress toward the Committee's maximum-employment and price-stability goals would be realized," according to minutes from the March 16-17 Federal Open Market Committee meeting published Wednesday.
"A number of participants highlighted the importance of the Committee clearly communicating its assessment of progress toward its longer-run goals well in advance of the time when it could be judged substantial enough to warrant a change in the pace of asset purchases."
U.S. central bankers left their asset purchase program of $120 billion a month unchanged at the meeting and forecast they would keep the benchmark lending rate near zero until at least 2023. That was despite sharply upgrading their forecasts for growth this year amid rising confidence and a fresh round of fiscal stimulus.