The Federal Reserve ended its historic easing program Wednesday, ceasing the final $15 billion of monthly bond purchases it had made in an effort to keep the economic recovery going, in a statement that kindled market talk about a more hawkish central bank.
Though it ended the program, the Federal Open Market Committee kept the “considerable period of time” language that investors had considered crucial in the central bank’s map for when it would raise interest rates. The “considerable” time refers to when the Fed will begin raising rates after the end of the monthly bond buying.
To that end, it said it would keep its short-term target funds rate anchored near zero until it sees more improvement from the economy. But it also noted significant economic gains, expressed some doubt that low inflation would continue and struck a tone that some anticipated as a tip toward those on the committee who advocated the Fed start to consider tightening policy.
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