Key takeaways from Fed Minutes participants include: Tapering could begin in mid-November or mid-December.
Participants reaffirmed that the committee's standard for substantial further progress regarding its asset purchases was distinct from the criteria given in its forward guidance on the Federal Funds Rate.
Participants largely agreed that, as long as the economic recovery stayed on pace, a gradual tapering procedure ending around the middle of next year would be acceptable. Some participants emphasized that economic conditions were likely to warrant keeping the rate at or near its lower level for the foreseeable future.
Participants expressed concern that inflation will last longer than predicted, particularly if labor and other supply shortages proved more persistent than currently anticipated. Gradual taper could be concluded by the middle of 2022.
The majority of participants stated that the threshold of substantial further progress toward the committee's price-stability target had been fulfilled or was expected to be met shortly.
Some participants voiced concern that monetary policy's strong level of accommodation, especially continued asset purchases, might exacerbate financial stability risks. Some other participants said they thought the test of substantial further progress toward maximum employment had been passed.
Various participants suggested that a complete recovery to pre-pandemic labor market circumstances seems unlikely. Participants generally agreed that the Fed staff's "illustrative path" of tapering presented a plain, suitable blueprint that policymakers might follow. The majority of participants thought inflation risks were skewed to the upside.
Others predicted that after the COVID-related worries that were weighing on labor force participation subsided, the participation rate and EPOP ratio would recover to, if not exceed, pre-pandemic levels.