The Federal Reserve is today expected to announce moves to boost the faltering US economic recovery.
The central bank policymakers are looking at what steps they can take to promote stronger growth.
Economists say the most likely approach will be to try to push down long-term borrowing costs.
The Fed could do that by changing the type of government bonds it holds – swapping short-term securities for longer-term ones.
Fed officials believe that by shifting their bond holdings they could encourage mortgage refinancing and push investors into riskier assets, such as corporate bonds and stocks, without stoking a run-up in consumer prices.
Faced with a 9.1 percent unemployment rate, consumer and business confidence hit by a troubling US credit rating downgrade, and an escalating sovereign debt crisis in Europe, Fed officials have signaled they would seek to prevent already sluggish US growth from weakening further.