Will the Fed begin the next round of Quantitative Easing (''QE2'') soon?
''The likelihood that the US will soon launch a fresh burst of 'quantitative easing' has increased, as minutes from the Federal Reserve's latest meeting revealed that officials were nearing an agreement on the need for additional monetary stimulus. The official record from the September 21 gathering of the federal open market committee, which sets interest rates, showed that 'many' officials thought a new round of monetary easing might be necessary to breathe life into the sluggish US recovery.
The notes also revealed that officials thought they might have to act 'before long' if economic conditions did not improve -- meaning a decision could come as early as the next meeting of the FOMC on November 3.
'Many participants noted that if economic growth remained too slow to make satisfactory progress towards reducing the unemployment rate or if inflation continued to come in below levels consistent with the FOMC's dual mandate, it would be appropriate to provide additional monetary policy accommodation,' according to the minutes, released on Tuesday.
David Semmens, US economist at Standard Chartered, said the Fed minutes delivered a clear message. 'Without a drastic and unforeseen change in the economic outlook the Fed intends to take further action and it will take it soon if necessary,' he said.''