The Fed’s bond-buying program may result in purchasing as much as $1.14 trillion in bonds before Federal Reserve Chief Ben Bernanke ends the program in the first quarter of 2014.
The estimate by Bloomberg’s survey of economists indicates the monthly purchases will continue into 2014 instead of ending at the end-of-this-year target of some Fed officials.
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January’s two-day meeting of the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) starts today and the Fed is expected to renew its commitment to the monthly bond purchases.
Forecasts for economic growth are brighter from Fed officials, who see 2013 economic growth ranging from 2.3% to 3%. The estimates of other economists hover around the 2% mark.
The majority—57%--of economists say the Fed’s purchases will do little
to enhance job growth and reach its goal of reducing the nation’s unemployment rate.
Several Fed officials are concerned that the growing size of the Fed’s portfolio will make it difficult to end the stimulus when inflation begins to rise above the Fed’s 2% target rate.
Other officials see the program fueling the economy, noting the improvement in sectors like housing that are interest rate sensitive.
For the long term, some officials are concerned that current monetary policy is increasing the risks for future financial imbalances.