International Monetary Fund chief Christine Lagarde on Thursday praised the Federal Reserve’s decision this week not to tap the brakes on its bond-buying program to stimulate the U.S. economy, saying it was still too soon to start the widely expected “tapering” operation on the Fed program.
“The IMF has always said that it should be gradual, that it should be based on data, with a clear indication of what the criteria would be,” Ms. Lagarde told reporters after giving a speech to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce in Washington. “So clearly the decision that was communicated [Wednesday] and the various comments made by the chairman show that it’s exactly what we at the fund have advocated.”
In a move that took global markets by surprise, Fed Chairman Ben S. Bernanke said the U.S. central bank’s board concluded almost unanimously Wednesday that the U.S. economy was still too fragile and the jobless rate too high to end the loose-money policy.
Ms. Lagarde said ending those policies “should be linked to progress in the recovery and employment.”
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