Bernanke Says Fed May Adjust Flow Rate of QE Asset Purchases

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke said the central bank will adjust its bond buying as the economy improves, calling the conditions for stimulus removal “thresholds, not triggers.”

“As we make progress toward our objective, we may adjust the flow rate of purchases from month to month to appropriately calibrate the amount of accommodation,” Bernanke said today at a press conference in Washington. “We think it makes more sense to have our policy variable, which is the rate of flow of purchases, respond in a more continuous or sensitive way to changes in the outlook.”

The Fed will keep up its bond buying at a pace of $85 billion a month even as the world’s largest economy and the job market pick up, policy makers said at the conclusion of a two-day meeting today.

The committee also left unchanged its statement that it plans to hold the target rate near zero as long as unemployment remains above 6.5 percent and inflation is projected to be no more than 2.5 percent.

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