Minutes show Fed backs stimulus through midyear

A majority of Federal Reserve policymakers want to continue extraordinary bond purchases to help boost the economy at least through the middle of the year, according to minutes from the Fed's last meeting released Wednesday.

But many members indicated they want to slow and eventually end the program soon after that, as long as the the job market and economy show sustained improvement. The Fed's purchases of about $85 billion a month in Treasury and mortgage bonds are intended to lower long-term interest rates and support more borrowing and spending.

The minutes of the Fed's March 19-20 meeting were released at 9 a.m. EDT  five hours earlier than planned after the Fed inadvertently sent them a day earlier to congressional staffers and lobbyists. Continue reading "Minutes show Fed backs stimulus through midyear"