With the U.S. economy improving, policymakers at the country's central bank say they plan to end their direct economic support of the world's largest economy in October.
Since late 2012, the Federal Reserve has been purchasing up to $85 billion a month of Treasury bonds and securities. It is a program aimed at keeping long-term interest rates at a very low level in an effort to boost hiring and lending to help the economy recover from the depths of the 2008 recession.
The Federal Reserve has been steadily cutting the size of the monthly asset purchases and has said that if the country's economic fortunes continue to improve, it would end them altogether late this year, without setting a specific date.
But Wednesday, the policymakers released minutes of their mid-June meeting showing that the Federal Reserve intends to end securities purchases in October, "if the economy progresses" on its current path, as it expects.
More than nine million workers remain unemployed in the U.S. But its labor market has been adding jobs at the fastest pace since 1999, and the jobless rate fell in June to 6.1 percent, its lowest level in nearly six years.