Most Federal Reserve officials agreed last month that they can start slowing the pace of bond purchases before the end of 2021, judging that enough progress has been made toward their inflation goal, while gains have also been made toward their employment objective.

"Various participants commented that economic and financial conditions would likely warrant a reduction in coming months," minutes of the Federal Open Market Committee's (FOMC's) July gathering, which were released Wednesday, said. "Several others indicated, however, that a reduction in the pace of asset purchases is more likely to become appropriate early next year."

The minutes also show that most participants "judged that it could be appropriate to start reducing the pace of asset purchases this year."

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