| KANSAS CITY, Mo., July 16
KANSAS CITY, Mo., July 16 The Federal Reserve
should begin to reduce its massive bond-buying program and bring
it to a close "sometime in the first half of next year," a top
Fed official said on Tuesday.
Should the U.S. economy grow faster than currently expected,
Kansas City Fed President Esther George told an agricultural
conference, it may be "appropriate" to reduce the bond-buying
program at a faster pace.
The Fed is buying $85 billion in Treasuries and
mortgage-backed securities every month to push down long-term
borrowing costs and boost investment and hiring.
George has dissented at every meeting of the Fed's
policy-setting panel this year, saying she is concerned about
continued aggressive monetary policy easing when the economy is
growing. She expects the economy to grow about 2 percent this
year, fueled by an improving jobs market and a housing recovery.
But the timeline she laid out on Tuesday was largely in line
with that of Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke last month. Bernanke said
the Fed may start reducing bond buys later this year and end
them by mid-2014.