Fed Chairman Jerome Powell: Taper likely to be done by ‘middle of next year’

Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell on Wednesday teed up the start of a pullback in the central bank’s extraordinary crisis-era monetary stimulus, saying that it could wrap up its asset purchase program before the end of 2022.

“Participants generally viewed that so long as the economic recovery remains on track, a gradual tapering process that concludes around the middle of next year is likely to be appropriate,” Powell told reporters on Wednesday.

Earlier in the afternoon, the policy-setting Federal Open Market Committee said the U.S. economy recovery was progressing well enough to allow the Fed to soon slow its purchases of U.S. Treasuries and agency mortgage-backed securities (which it’s buying at an aggregate pace of about $120 billion per month).

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