U.S. Federal Reserve policymakers, fresh from a December decision to ramp up asset purchases to help push down borrowing costs, will this year train a sharp eye on jobs.
A “substantial improvement” in the labor market outlook is a prerequisite for ending the bond-buying program, known as QE3 because it is the Fed’s third quantitative easing program since the Great Recession.
Below is a look at top Fed officials’ views on the asset-purchase program, currently at a monthly $85 billion, as well their take on the Fed’s new vow to keep rates low until unemployment falls to at least 6.5 percent, as long as inflation does not threaten to breach 2.5 percent.
- Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke (permanent voter) has suggested he does not see a near-term end to QE3. “I want to be clear that while we’ve made progress, there’s still quite a ways to go before we’ll be satisfied,” he said on Jan. 14.
- Boston Fed President Eric Rosengren (2013 voter) supports buying assets until the unemployment rate falls to about 7.25 percent, a personal threshold he does not expect to breach this year.