Fed weighed slowing its pace of bond purchases

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Associated Press

Posted on May 22, 2013 at 12:07 PM

Updated Wednesday, May 22 at 1:01 PM

WASHINGTON (AP) — Several Federal Reserve policymakers this month favored slowing the Fed's efforts to maintain record-low long-term interest rates as early as summer — if the economy showed strong and sustained growth. But those officials appeared at odds over what evidence would demonstrate such gains.

Minutes of the Fed's April 30-May 1 meeting released Wednesday show "a number" of members expressed a willingness to scale back the $85 billion a month in Treasury and mortgage bonds the Fed has been purchasing, perhaps as soon as June, if the economy accelerates. The Fed next meets on June 18-19.

Still, Chairman Ben Bernanke, the Fed's most important voice, signaled Wednesday in testimony to Congress that it is too soon for the Federal Reserve to slow its extraordinary stimulus programs.

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