Before the end of this year, the Federal Reserve will likely begin paring back the $4.5 trillion balance sheet it amassed as it tried to prop up the US economy during the recession, yet another sign of the economy's continued progress since the financial crisis.
"Most participants anticipated that gradual increases in the federal funds rate would continue and judged that a change to the committee's reinvestment policy would likely be appropriate later this year", according to the minutes of the Federal Open Market Committee's March 14-15 meeting.
The Fed, chaired by Janet Yellen, bought Treasury and mortgage-backed bonds on a hitherto unprecedented scale in the wake of the financial crisis to help to keep interest rates low and to encourage job creation and economic growth.
Stock markets have surged in recent months on expectations that the Trump White House will introduce measures to stimulate the economy, including tax cuts for individuals and corporations and programs that boost infrastructure spending.
Elsewhere in the minutes policymakers appeared to see upside risks to the economy while there was still disagreement on how close the Fed was to meeting its 2 percent inflation goal this year. The Fed didn't lay out a timetable or specific plan for changing its reinvestment policy.
However, Fed officials underscored the considerable uncertainty about the timing and nature of potential changes to fiscal policies as well as the effects of such changes on the economic activity.
While markets have been pricing-in two more interest rate hikes this year, a reduction of the Fed's bond holdings also would act as a tightening of monetary policy.
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The minutes showed that several Fed officials believed that Trump's stimulus plans would likely not begin until next year.
The central bank made a decision to raise the federal funds rate for the third time since 2008 in a near unanimous call during its meeting in March.
The release of the minutes came a day after the sudden resignation of FOMC member Jeffrey Lacker - the president of the Richmond Federal Reserve Bank - who admitted to a role in the leak of confidential minutes meetings in 2012.
Ian Shepherdson of Pantheon Macroeconomics said the minutes showed policymakers still could not agree on how much slack remained in labor markets.
Uncertainty around them was substantial, the Fed said.
Treasury yields initially rose sharply after the release of the minutes but reversed course.
The minutes make it clear that shrinking the $4.5 trillion balance sheet will be a priority in the coming years, but probably would start very gradually and not until late this year at the soonest.