US Fed expected to announce tapering asset purchases in Nov

The US Federal Reserve will probably hint at its meeting next week that it is moving toward announcing a reduction in monthly asset purchases in November, according to a Bloomberg survey of economists.

Two-thirds of economists expect the tapering announcement at the Fed’s November 2-3 meeting, with more than half seeing the tapering starting in December, Xinhua news agency reported citing the survey released on Friday as saying.

The Fed will hold its next policy meeting on September 21-22.

The survey of 52 economists, which was conducted September 10-15, also showed that the Fed would hold interest rates near zero through 2022 before delivering two quarter-point increases by the end of the following year.

The Fed has pledged to keep its benchmark interest rate unchanged at the record-low level of near zero, while continuing its asset purchase program at least at the current pace of $120 billion per month until “substantial further progress” has been made on employment and inflation.

Many Fed officials have said in recent interviews and public statements that the central bank could begin reducing asset purchases this year.

The survey further revealed that 89 per cent of the economists expect President Joe Biden to renominate Jerome Powell for another four-year term after his current tenure as Fed chair expires in February 2022.

Fed Governor Lael Brainard, a Democrat, is seen as the most likely alternative, with 9 per cent of economists predicting she will be chosen as the new Chair, according to the survey.