WASHINGTON — Kansas City Federal Reserve Bank President Esther George Tuesday lauded the "steady" improvement that she is seeing in the jobs market, and said if the unemployment rate falls as expected, the Fed should begin slowing the pace of its bond buying in September and end the program during the first half of next year.

In a speech to open a Kansas City Fed Agricultural Symposium, George went on to say that the pace of the tapering should be faster if economic conditions improve faster than currently forecast. She also said the Fed should begin hiking interest rates once the unemployment rate falls below 6.5%.

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