The Federal Reserve Board of Governors agreed at their April policy meeting that the time has come to discuss ways to wrap up monetary stimulus programs, though rate hikes aren''t on the drawing board yet, as no inflationary risks have become evident due to ultra-loose policies.
The Fed is currently purchasing $45 billion in Treasury and mortgage debt a month to spur recovery, a monetary policy tool known as quantitative easing that suppresses long-term interest rates, weakening the dollar while boosting stock prices in the process in hopes investing and hiring will follow suit.
The Fed''s current asset-purchasing plan kicked off at $85 billion in 2012, though further tapering will be likely as the economy stands on its own two feet.
Monetary authorities agreed at their April meeting to seek out a mix of tools to normalize monetary policy once the bond-buying program ends, though the U.S. central bank didn''t spell out exactly when benchmark interest-rate hikes would begin.
"Participants generally agreed that starting to consider the options for normalization at this meeting was prudent, as it would help the Committee to make decisions about approaches to policy normalization and to communicate its plans to the public well before the first steps in normalizing policy become appropriate," the minutes from the Fed''s April 29-30 meeting read.
"Early communication, in turn, would enhance the clarity and credibility of monetary policy and help promote the achievement of the Committee''s statutory objectives."
The Fed also added that stimulus programs have not fueled inflationary pressures as of now, which gives monetary authorities flexibility to manage the economy that would spur job creation without escalating consumer prices.
"It was also noted that because inflation was expected to remain well below the Committee''s 2 percent objective and the unemployment rate was still above participants'' estimates of its longer-run normal level, the Committee did not, at present, face a tradeoff between its employment and inflation objectives, and an expansion of aggregate demand would result in further progress relative to both objectives," the minutes read.
The US Dollar Index, which tracks the performance of the greenback versus a basket of six other major currencies, was up 0.16% at 80.22.
The Dow 30 was up 0.88% at 16,519.00.