US Federal Reserve to End Quantitative Easing Programme

Big 5

The US Federal Reserve has called time on its $4.5 trillion (£2.8tn) quantitative easing programme, introduced more than five years ago to steer the world’s largest economy through the financial crisis.

The central bank, led by Janet Yellen, said it would cease buying bonds this month.

Announcing the decision made at its October policy meeting, the Fed said: “The committee judges that there has been a substantial improvement in the outlook for the labour market since the inception of its current asset purchase programme. Moreover, the committee continues to see sufficient underlying strength in the broader economy to support ongoing progress toward maximum employment in a context of price stability. Accordingly, the committee decided to conclude its asset purchase program this month.”

It brings to an end the programme which marked a radical departure for US monetary policy, hugely swelling the Fed’s balance sheet in a bid to prop up a battered financial system.

The Fed began to slow its purchase of Treasury bonds and mortgage-backed securities in January, but until now it had not confirmed an end date. The central bank has steadily reduced its monthly bond purchases from a peak of $85bn a month to $15bn a month.

Despite the end of its bond-buying programme, US monetary policy remains ultra loose, with an interest rate range of between zero and 0.25% since December 2008.

Source: The Guardian