Minutes from the Jan.25-26 meeting of the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) reveal that central bank members had slightly improved their outlook on the U.S. economy, but still decided to maintain their program to purchase $600-million in bonds.
Bank officials said they expect the country’s GDP to climb in range between 3.4 percent and 3.9 percent this year (versus a November forecast of expansion between 3.0 percent and 3.6 percent).
The unemployment rate, the FOMC predicts, will remain at elevated levels of between 8.8 percent and 9.0 percent throughout the year.
Inflation is expected to clock in at a moderate 1.3 percent and 1.7 percent range.
However, the minutes indicate that some members aren’t sure of the efficacy of the bond-buying program (although all members voted to support in), citing it might not really help the economy and may lead to an uptick in inflation.
In the event the economy showed sustained strength, some members suggested the bond-buying scheme be reduced.
However, others pointed out that it was unlikely that the outlook would change by enough to substantiate any adjustments to the program before its completion, the minutes said.
The full minutes can be accessed here