— This is the script of CNBC's news report for China's CCTV on December 19, Thursday.
Welcome to the CNBC Business Daily.
After months of anticipation, the US Federal Reserve has finally announced the start of tapering.
From January next year, the Fed will reduce the size of its controversial quantitative easing program by $10 billion, taking it from $85 billion worth of mortgage and Treasury bond purchases a month, to $75 billion a month.
In explaining his decision, Fed Chair Ben Bernanke said the central bank's continued scaling down of purchases next year was dependent on the economy staying on course.
Chairman Bernanke stressed that there is no pre-set course for future policy and any decision will be data dependent:
[Soundbyte on tape by US Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke] Today's policy action reflects the Committee's assessment that while the economy is continuing to make progress, it also has much farther to travel before conditions can be judged normal. Notably, despite significant headwinds, the economy has been expanding at a moderate pace and we expect growth to pick up somewhere in the coming quarters, helped by highly accomodative monetary policy and waning fiscal drag.
Investors cheered the news with markets rallying. So did the Fed get the timing right? Here's what some analysts had to say:
[Soundbyte on tape by Robert Heller, Former Governor of the U.S. Federal Reserve(1986 - 1989)] It was the right decision to make. The economy was improving, the overall GDP was 3.6 percent, unemployment is down, why not stop it.
[Soundbyte on tape by Diane Swonk, Chief Economist, Mesirow Financial] They did the one-two punch of leaving the stimulus out there, but they're stimulating one way or another for a long time to come.
[Soundbyte on tape by Bill Gross, Founder and Co-CIO, PIMCO] If the Fed brings a lump of coal in the form of a taper, they'd better bring some candy canes as well to keep us little investor "kids" happy, and that appears to be what they've done with the language and post-taper language in terms of policy rate.
Li Sixuan from CNBC's Singapore headquarters.