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Support at Fed for Slow Stimulus Cuts; Concern About Declining Share of Adults in Labor Force

New York Times (01/09/14) Binyamin Appelbaum

According to the U.S. Federal Reserve’s December meeting minutes, most officials regard the monthly purchases of U.S. Treasury and mortgage-backed securities as effective in stimulating job growth, even though unemployment still is widespread. The members saw little justification for completely retreating from their bond-buying campaign, even though the economy continues to recover. Any plans to back away from the program will be gradual; the Fed will reduce its bond-buying from $85 billion monthly to $75 billion this month, and a similar cut could be approved at the next policy-making committee meeting later in January.

The economy has added a monthly average of 190,000 jobs over the last 15 months, and Fed officials expect the U.S. economy to grow more quickly this year. However, members did express concern about the slow pace of price increases and the declining share of adults in the labor force.