Bullard: Fed could slow bond buys in October

WASHINGTON (AP) — A voting member of the Federal Reserve says the Fed could start to reduce its bond purchases as early as the next meeting in October, if the economy shows improvement.

James Bullard, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, told Bloomberg television Friday that it was a “close decision” not to slow the $85-billion-a-month in bond buying at the Sept. 17-18 meeting. He said stronger data before the Oct. 29-30 meeting could make Fed officials “comfortable with a small taper in October.”

The bond purchases are intended to keep long-term interest rates low, encouraging more borrowing, spending and growth.

Separately, Bullard said in a New York speech that the Fed’s action this week shows its decision hinges on economic data.

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