A Federal Reserve report published Thursday showed the U.S. central bank’s bond buying program is on track to spend roughly $4 trillion a year, with most of that coming from the Federal Reserve’s own reserves.
The central bank is expected to release its final report later this month, but analysts said Thursday that the final number is likely to be higher than $4.5 trillion.
The report found the central bank purchased $3.9 trillion of bonds this year, nearly all of which were backed by reserves.
That’s about three-quarters of the $4,564 billion it spent in all of 2016.
The Fed, however, has long been criticized for not doing more to prop up the U in times of trouble.
Federal Reserve officials have said the central banks plan to maintain its bond purchases until inflation is under control.
In the final report released Thursday, the central bankers said they are expected to “moderate” the pace of bond purchases.
They will be able to do so if they are able to find a “more effective” way to support the economy, said Michael O’Hanlon, a fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics.
The Treasury Department and Fed officials have been working closely together to finalize the plan, said O’Brien, who was an economist at the Fed until this summer.
But the final plan is still “a work in progress,” he said.