News / Economy

US Fed on Track to Reduce Monthly Bond Purchases

US Fed on Track to Reduce Monthly Bond Purchasesi
X
Mil Arcega
March 19, 2014 11:34 PM
The U.S. central bank is on pace to reduce its monthly bond purchases by another $10 billion - and interest rates will remain near record lows until the job market approaches something closer to normal. So says Janet Yellen, who held her first news conference Wednesday as head of the U.S. Federal Reserve. Mil Arcega has more.
The U.S. central bank is on pace to reduce its monthly bond purchases by another $10 billion - and interest rates will remain near record lows until the job market approaches something closer to normal.  So says Janet Yellen, who held her first news conference Wednesday as head of the U.S. Federal Reserve.

There’s a new Fed chief in town - but in terms of monetary policy, there's very little difference between Janet Yellen and her predecessor, Ben Bernanke.  Despite her new responsibilities, the former central bank vice chair says don’t expect any surprises.

“In terms of the conduct of business, it’s pretty much the same as usual.  I’m not envisioning, nor have there been so far, any radical changes in how the Federal Reserve does its business," said Yellen.

That includes winding down the bank’s accommodative policies that have kept interest rates near record lows.  This means monthly bond purchases will drop another $10 billion next month to $55 billion a month.

The one notable change is the committee's decision to stop using a threshold level of 6.5 percent unemployment to decide when to start raising rates.

“Even after employment and inflation are near mandate consistent levels, economic conditions may, for some time, warrant keeping short-term interest rates below levels the committee views as normal in the long run," said Yellen.

Instead, steady job growth and a target level of 2 percent inflation will determine the pace of interest rate appreciation.

Mark Hamrick is Washington bureau chief at Bankrate.com.

“It’s an acknowledgment that 6.5 percent as a target was not perfect, because we know in the past that we’ve seen the unemployment rate decline for the wrong reasons," said  Hamrick.

At 6.7 percent - U.S. unemployment is close to a five-year low, but, Yellen says unusually bad weather in January and February has made assessing the underlying economy especially challenging.

You May Like

EU Court Fines Poland for Hosting CIA 'Black Sites'

Ruling is first time a court has acknowledged suspects were held and tortured at the sites, under US program launched following the 9/11 terrorist attacks More

Migrant Issues Close to Home Spur Groups to Take Action

Groups placing water, food in the desert, or aiding detainees after release, have one common goal: no more deaths of migrants crossing illegally into the US More

Video At AIDS Conference, Prevention Pill Stirs Excitement

Truveda shows promise, spurring debate over access and other approaches More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Treatment for Childhood Epilepsy Heats up Medical Marijuana Debatei
X
Shelley Schlender
July 24, 2014 6:43 PM
In the United States, marijuana is classed as an illegal drug by the federal government. But nearly half the states have legalized it, to some degree. Proponents say some strains of marijuana might have exceptional health benefits, for treating pain or inflammation in chronic conditions such as cancer, multiple sclerosis and epilepsy. Shelley Schlender reports on a strain of medical marijuana developed in Colorado that is reputed to reduce seizures in childhood epilepsy
Video

Video Treatment for Childhood Epilepsy Heats up Medical Marijuana Debate

In the United States, marijuana is classed as an illegal drug by the federal government. But nearly half the states have legalized it, to some degree. Proponents say some strains of marijuana might have exceptional health benefits, for treating pain or inflammation in chronic conditions such as cancer, multiple sclerosis and epilepsy. Shelley Schlender reports on a strain of medical marijuana developed in Colorado that is reputed to reduce seizures in childhood epilepsy
Video

Video Airbus Adds Metal 3D Printed Parts to New Jets

By the end of this year, European aircraft manufacturing consortium Airbus plans to deliver the first of its new, extra-wide-body passenger jets, the A350-XWB. Among other technological innovations, the new plane will also incorporate metal parts made in a 3-D printer. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video Death Toll From Israel-Gaza Conflict Surpasses 700

Gaza officials say a shelling hit a compound housing a United Nations-run school in the Gaza Strip, killing more than a dozen people, during an Israeli offensive in the area. Heavy fighting between the Israeli military and Hamas militants continued on Thursday, pushing up the death toll. So far, more than 730 Palestinians and 35 Israelis have been killed in the conflict. VOA's Scott Bobb has the latest from Jerusalem.
Video

Video AIDS Conference Welcomes Exciting Developments in HIV Treatment, Prevention

Significant strides have been made in recent years toward the treatment and prevention of HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. This year, at the International AIDS Conference, the AIDS community welcomed progress on a new pill that may prevent transmission of the deadly virus. VOA’s Anita Powell reports from Melbourne, Australia.
Video

Video Israel Targets Gaza Supply Tunnels

The Israeli military has launched a ground operation in Gaza to destroy the myriad tunnels that may have been used to smuggle weapons to Hamas. VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports that could mean more hardship for the people of Gaza, who obtain some of their essential supplies through these underground passages
Video

Video Researchers Target Low-Cost Avatar Technology

Scientists at the University of Southern California Institute for Creative Technologies say 3-dimensional representations could revolutionize social media. Elizabeth Lee has more from Los Angeles.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video In Cambodia, HIV Diagnosis Brings Deadly Shame

Although HIV/AIDS is now a treatable condition, a positive diagnosis is still a life altering experience. In Cambodia, people living with HIV are often disowned by friends, family and the community. This humiliation can be unbearable. We bring you one Cambodian woman’s struggle to overcome a life tragedy and her own HIV positive diagnosis.

AppleAndroid

World Currencies

EUR
USD
0.7305
JPY
USD
101.53
GBP
USD
0.5830
CAD
USD
1.0656
INR
USD
60.075

Rates may not be current.