Fed Seen Kicking Off QE3 Thursday

Economists also expect FOMC to pledge to keep rates low into 2015.

The Federal Reserve is likely to announce a third round of bond purchases tomorrow, according to almost two-thirds of economists in a Bloomberg survey, while also extending the duration of its zero-interest-rate policy into 2015.

Chairman Ben S. Bernanke and his colleagues on the Federal Open Market Committee will once again roll out unconventional policies to bolster economic growth of less than 2 percent in the second quarter and bring down unemployment stuck above 8 percent for 43 straight months, the survey showed.

New Purchases

Policy makers may forgo new bond purchases at this meeting to solidify a consensus on the issue among themselves or to better prepare the public for the move, said Michael Hanson, senior U.S. economist at Bank of America Corp. in New York.

Near Zero

Central bankers are also poised to extend until 2015 their forecast that economic conditions will probably warrant holding interest rates near zero through late 2014. Sixty-eight percent of economists surveyed expect an extension at tomorrow’s meeting.

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