Fed weighed slowing its pace of bond purchases

Associated Press + More

By MARTIN CRUTSINGER, Associated Press

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.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.