In the Minutes of the 30 October FOMC meeting, Fed officials signaled they may consider to taper QE3 “in coming months” if the economy improves as anticipated. The minutes showed extensive discussion on how to strengthen communication regarding the timing of tapering. Nevertheless, policy makers would like to see hard evidence of an acceleration in the growth rate that will actually sustain the improvement in labor market conditions.
Some members, like St. Louis Fed President James Bullard, would not rule out tapering as early as December. The FOMC is scheduled to meet December 17-18. However, Fed President Ben Bernanke said mid-week that the Fed will keep the key interest rate likely near zero for a considerable time, even after tapering QE3 and perhaps well after the jobless rate breaches the Fed’s 6.5% threshold.