Fed Likely to Taper in 3Q: Economist

The Federal Reserve's asset purchases could begin to fade by September, Societe Generale Chief U.S. Economist Aneta Markowska said Wednesday.

"I think there's a good chance they'll start tapering sometime in the third quarter, probably closer to September than to June," she said on CNBC's "Fast Money."

Markowska said that remarks about the Federal Open Market Committee meeting by Chair Ben Bernanke clarified that the Fed's stimulus would be linked to an improvement in the labor market.

"I think we'll be there by the end of the year," she added. "They'll start tapering, possibly, long before then."

One of the bright points looking forward would come from housing prices, Markowska said.

"Now that home prices are rising decidedly, I think they'll continue to rise at 7 percent per year," she said. "That starts to unwind a lot of the structural headwinds to growth."

By mid-year, Markowska added, economic data will surprise on the upside.

"There's a good chance we'll printing GDP in excess of 3 percent starting in the third quarter," she said.

Trader disclosure: On March 20, 2013, the following stocks and commodities mentioned or intended to be mentioned on CNBC's "Fast Money" were owned by the "Fast Money" traders: Guy Adami is long C; Guy Adami is long GS; Guy Adami is long INTC; Guy Adami is long AGU; Guy Adami is long MSFT; Guy Adami is long NUE; Guy Adami is long BTU; Tim Seymour is long AAPL; Tim Seymour is long BAC; Tim Seymour is long SBUX; Tim Seymour is long MSFT; Brian Kelly is long S&P ; Brian Kelly is long GOLD; Brian Kelly is long SILVER; Brian Kelly is long TREASURIES; Brian Kelly is short Copper; Brian Kelly is short Oil; JJ Kinahan is long AAPL; JJ Kinahan is long BAC; JJ Kinahan is short GS puts; JJ Kinahan is short WFC puts; JJ Kinahan is long CSCO; JJ Kinahan is short FB Calls; JJ Kinahan is long MSFT.