Noting improvements in many sectors of the economy, the Federal Reserve Board's policymaking committee said Wednesday that it would complete its planned $300 billion of Treasury securities purchases by October.
The Fed announced the purchases in March to thaw stubbornly frozen credit markets, and Wednesday's announcement represents the central bank's latest efforts to return to a degree of normalcy. In June the Fed said it would stop auctioning off Treasury securities and also ended some support to money market mutual funds.
Wednesday's policy statement made no mention of other liquidity programs the Fed continues to run, including the Term Asset-Backed Securities Loan Facility, which is still slated to expire at yearend.
Policymakers said the overall economy is "leveling out" and expressed confidence that the Fed's efforts to support financial institutions, coupled with other monetary policy actions and the Obama administration's stimulus package, could lead to growth.