Federal Reserve officials are in no hurry to retreat from their bond-buying campaign to stimulate the economy and are likely to postpone any cuts to the program until next year, according to public statements by Fed officials and interviews with some of them.
Job growth has strengthened in recent months, and Fed officials expect continued improvement in the coming year. The Fed’s chairman, Ben S. Bernanke, predicted in June that the Fed would taper its purchases by the end of this year, and officials say they still could announce such a cut next week, when the Fed’s policy-making committee is scheduled to hold its final meeting of the year.
But influential Fed officials see little harm in postponing the decision, particularly compared with the risks of pulling back too soon. Significant details of the eventual retreat also remain the subjects of unresolved debates, according to the public statements and interviews. And some officials argue that the slow pace of inflation is itself a reason for the Fed to maintain its stimulus campaign.