The US central bank is expected to continue to cut its stimulus programme at its policy meeting this week.
Economists said despite recent weak growth, the Federal Reserve – under new chair Janet Yellen – will likely announce a further $10 billion reduction of monthly bond purchases.
Financial markets will be looking for clues from the Fed’s statement at the end of the two-day meeting on Wednesday as to when interest rates might start rising.
As the meeting started, the Senate Banking Committee approved Stanley Fischer to replace Yellen as the central bank’s No. 2.
His previous roles include being second in command at the International Monetary Fund, chief economist at the World Bank and vice chairman at Citigroup.
He now goes before the full Senate for a final confirmation vote.