Bernanke: Fed could reduce bond buys this year

Bernanke: Fed could reduce bond buys this year

June 19th, 2013 by Associated Press in Local - Breaking News

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke speaks Thursday in Washington.

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke speaks Thursday in...

Photo by Associated Press /Times Free Press.

WASHINGTON - Chairman Ben Bernanke says the Federal Reserve could scale back its $85 billion in monthly bond purchases later this year if the economy continues to improve.

Bernanke says the reductions would occur in "measured steps" and that the program could end by the middle of next year. His comments were made during a news conference today after the Fed concluded its two-day policy meeting.

After the meeting, the Fed voted to continue the pace of its bond-buying program to keep long-term interest rates at record lows. But it offered a more optimistic outlook for the U.S. economy and job market.