Policymakers at the U.S. Federal Reserve voted at their last meeting to maintain plans for the central banks second round of quantitative easing despite improving economic data, according to Bloomberg. The minutes of the Dec. 14 meeting of the Federal Open Market Committee revealed, While the economic outlook was seen as improving, members generally felt that the change in the outlook was not sufficient to warrant any adjustments to the $600 billion asset purchase plan announced in November.
The Fed leaders said more data would be needed to consider a change to the program, which is due to extend into the middle of 2011. The original announcement said the plan would be contingent on economic and financial developments, although the latest minutes said their would be a fairly high threshold for making changes. Stephen Stanley of Peirpont Securities opined, Theres very little chance that theyre going to cut the program short, short of an absolute economic shocker.