Though a few members of the Federal Open Market Committee were uncertain about the benefits of buying $600 billion of longer-term Treasury securities by mid-year, they felt that the time was “not appropriate” to change quantitative easing at this point, according to minutes of the Feb. 15 FOMC meeting.
The panel will continue the asset-purchase program “in order to promote a stronger pace of economic recovery and to help ensure that inflation, over time, is at levels consistent with the committee’s mandate,” the minutes said.
“Specifically, the committee maintained its existing policy of reinvesting principal payments from its securities holdings and reaffirmed its intention to purchase $600 billion of longer-term Treasury securities by the end of the second quarter of 2011.”
A tapering of the program was deemed unnecessary.
At the meeting, members determined that “economic conditions, including low rates of resource utilization, subdued inflation trends, and stable inflation expectations, were likely to warrant exceptionally low levels for the federal funds rate for an extended period.”