Recent U.S. economic data is looking better and a solid jobs report for November would increase the likelihood that the Federal Reserve would start to scale back bond buying at its meeting next month, a senior Fed official said on Wednesday.
"It is definitely on the table, but it is going to depend on the data,'' James Bullard, president of the St. Louis Federal Reserve Bank, told Bloomberg television. "A strong jobs report, I think, would increase the probability some for a December taper.''
Bullard is a voting member of the Fed's policy-setting committee this year.
The central bank at its October policy meeting voted to keep buying bonds at an $85 billion monthly pace, delaying a decision to start scaling back the program until it saw more evidence of a durable recovery that could sustain job creation.
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The Fed had stunned markets in September when it opted to keep buying bonds at the same pace, after allowing expectations to harden over the summer that it was getting set to taper.
Yields on longer-term bonds, which had risen sharply on expectations of tapering, snapped back when the Fed opted to stick with the $85 billion pace.