Comparing US Fed’s views on economy, bond-buying

A comparison of the Federal Reserve’s statements from its two-day meeting that ended Wednesday and its meeting on March 19-20:

BOND-BUYING PROGRAM:

March: “In determining the size, pace, and composition of its asset purchases, the Committee will continue to take appropriate account of the likely efficacy and costs of such purchases as well as the extent of progress toward its economic objectives.”

May: The Fed inserted a new sentence that said it could alter its $85 billion a month in bond purchases depending on the economy and job market: “The Committee is prepared to increase or reduce the pace of its purchases to maintain appropriate policy accommodation as the outlook for the labor market or inflation.”

GOVERNMENT SPENDING AND TAX POLICY:

Then: “Fiscal policy has become somewhat more restrictive.”

Now: The Fed has strengthened its view: “Fiscal policy is restraining economic growth.”

ECONOMY:

Then: “Information received since … January suggests a return to moderate economic growth following a pause late last year.”

Now: “Information received since … March suggests that economic activity has been expanding at a moderate pace.”

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