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WASHINGTON — In its final major decision under the leadership of Ben S. Bernanke, the Federal Reserve said Wednesday that it would continue to slowly dismantle its stimulus campaign, citing “growing underlying strength in the broader economy.”
The Fed’s policy making committee voted unanimously to pare monthly bond purchases by another $10 billion — its first unanimous vote since 2011 — despite lingering concerns about the health of the US economy and growing signs that the Fed’s retreat is causing problems in emerging markets including Turkey.
The decision reflected the optimism of Fed officials that the domestic economy is finally poised for faster growth after years of false starts and setbacks. It allows Bernanke, the Fed chairman since 2006, who once hoped to oversee the end of the central bank’s stimulus campaign, to step down Friday having at least directed the first steps.
Looking ahead, Bernanke also leaves a clear road map pointing toward an end of the Fed’s bond purchases in October or December. His successor, Janet L. Yellen, has supported that plan as the Fed’s vice chairwoman. She is likely to give the first indication of her own views when she testifies before Congress next month.