The Federal Reserve's asset purchase plan's success in stimulating the economy seems to be tied to Fed assurance that interest rates would remain low, according to an economic letter from the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, released Monday.

"The Federal Reserve's large-scale purchases of long-term Treasury securities most likely provided a moderate boost to economic growth and inflation," the letter said. "Importantly, the effects appear to depend greatly on the Fed's guidance that short-term interest rates would remain low for an extended period. Indeed, estimates from a macroeconomic model suggest that such interest rate forward guidance probably has greater effects than signals about the amount of assets purchased."

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