Minutes: Fed Divided Over When to End Stimulus

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Federal Reserve policymakers are divided over when to end extraordinary measures intended to encourage more borrowing and spending to help stimulate the U.S. economy.

Minutes of the Fed's March 19-20 meeting show a few members want end "relatively soon" a program that is spending $85 billion a month to purchases bonds, saying the costs likely outweigh the benefits. A few others saw the risks as increasing quickly and said the purchases would likely need to be reduced "before long."

Many members said an improved job market could lead them to slow purchases within a few months. A few said economic conditions would likely justify continuing the program until late this year.

The minutes were released earlier than planned after the Fed inadvertently sent them prematurely to congressional staffers and lobbyists.


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