The Federal Reserve likely won't raise short-term interest until 2011 because economic growth and inflation remain weak, Pimco's Bill Gross told CNBC.
“The output gap and the core inflation rate is probably heading downward for the next 12 to 24 months," said Gross, the co-chief investment officer and founder of the world's biggest bond fund. "If that’s the case and if unemployment stays close to 10 percent, then there’s no reason for the Fed to begin to raise interest rates."
However, the central bank's decision to begin removing some of its stimulus spending from the financial system this year could push the yield on 10-year Treasurys up 0.30 to 0.40 of a percentage point, Gross said.
"So if this money disappears—and I’ve been recommending for the Fed to continue these programs—but if they discontinue them, than interest rates may rise by that 30 to 40 basis points gradually over the next three to six months,” he said.
Minutes of the Fed's last policy meeting in December, released Wednesday, show some Fed officials worried that a pullback in government support could snuff out a fragile housing market recovery. A few even believed the Fed should step up asset purchases instead of scaling back.
Labor market weakness also was an important concern for Fed officials, the minutes showed, with officials saying they expect unemployment to remain high for "quite some time."
The Fed has committed to buying $1.25 trillion of mortgage-backed securities by the end of March.
The Fed began buying MBS, mortgage agency debt and longer-term Treasury securities after it had cut rates to near zero in December 2008 but wanted to continue to provide a boost to the economy.
A $300 billion program to purchase longer-date Treasuries ended in October.
At the Dec. 15-16 meeting, the Fed decided to continue keeping interest rates low for an "extended period" to keep the economic recovery going and drive down double-digit unemployment.
—Reuters contributed to this story