Federal Reserve Bank of New York President William C. Dudley said the central bank may reduce the pace of its bond buying in 2013 depending on the economy’s performance.
“If the economy were behaving in a way aligned with the Fed’s June forecast, then it’s certainly likely that the Fed would begin to taper later this year,” Dudley said in an interview with CNBC. “I certainly wouldn’t want to rule it out. But it depends on the data.”
U.S. policy makers last week unexpectedly refrained from reducing their $85 billion in monthly bond buying, saying they need to see more signs of sustained labor-market gains. Chairman Ben S. Bernanke said on Sept. 18 the Fed will alter record accommodation based on “what’s needed for the economy” and not “let market expectations dictate our policy actions.”
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Dudley, who is also vice chairman of the policy-setting Federal Open Market Committee, said the markets shouldn’t have been surprised by the Fed’s decision not to taper last week.
“The chairman never said that we were going to reduce the rate of asset purchases in September,” Dudley said. “He said ‘later this year.’ I think that framework that he laid out is still very much intact.”
Dudley also said the Fed’s forward guidance will probably outlast the expected departure of Bernanke and the appointment of a new chairman.
“The market should have reasonable confidence in the forward guidance because the reality is the Federal Reserve is not just about the chair,” he said.
Dudley said in a speech in New York yesterday that policy makers must “forcefully” push against economic headwinds as the U.S. has yet to show “any meaningful pickup” in momentum. He said yesterday that “the economy still needs the support of a very accommodative monetary policy.”
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