U.S. central bank policymakers say they will start rolling back a government program to stabilize the economy, noting that the recession is easing.
The Federal Reserve announced Wednesday it will slow plans to buy $300 billion in U.S. Treasury bonds. The program was aimed at lowering consumer interest rates.
The bank also said it will keep a key short-term interest rate near zero for an extended period of time to encourage lending by banks.
The U.S. Treasury Department said Wednesday that the federal deficit has risen to $1.27 trillion.
The Obama administration has predicted that when the fiscal year ends September 30, the imbalance will total $1.84 trillion.
Government spending to address the recession and stabilize the U.S. financial system have pushed the deficit higher. The wars in Afghanistan and Iraq have also been major factors in the government spending more money than it is taking in.
Some information for this report was provided by AP and Bloomberg.