WASHINGTON – The US Federal Reserve sought to reduce the monetary policy it adopted at the beginning of the pandemic by signaling that the process could begin later this year.
The Fed cut its key interest rate to near zero in March 2020 and bought at least $ 120 billion in government and mortgage bonds a month to further stimulate the economy. Since late last year, officials said these purchases would continue until they see “significant further progress” toward their goals of low unemployment and stable inflation.
Officials said in a statement on Wednesday at the close of their two-day meeting that “the economy has made progress towards these goals” and that progress will be assessed in upcoming meetings.
This is an indication that the Fed may announce plans to cut back or curb purchases later this year. The next meetings of the Central Bank are for May 21-22 September and the 2-3. November planned.
Fed chairman Jerome Powell said at a virtual press conference on Wednesday that the central bank was far from considering plans to raise interest rates. “It’s not something that’s on our radar screen right now,” he said.