FOMC minutes show strong bias toward early taper of QE

Minutes of the Federal Reserve's last policy board meeting released Wednesday showed a significant bias toward winding up the QE stimulus program before the mid-2014 target stated by Fed chief Ben Bernanke.

"About half" of the participants in the June 18-19 meeting of the Federal Open Market Committee thought the $85 billion a month stimulus program should be wound up by the end of this year, the minutes said.

In addition, while most of the central bank's policy makers say it should stick to its ultra-low interest rate policy through 2015, four thought the benchmark federal funds rate should be increased this year or next year.

Three of those four believed the FOMC needs to act "relatively soon" in order to keep a control on possible inflation.

Nevertheless, most of the others felt inflation pressures were in check despite the Fed's easy-money policy, and that inflation would slowly pick up and converge on the FOMC's 2.0 percent target "over the longer run".