Now a buzzword, “taper” has come to symbolize the potential slowing of bond purchases that the Federal Reserve will presumably begin in the near future. The U.S. economic recovery has been deemed acceptable enough (by many) that popular opinion is for tapering to begin in September.
The below chart from Scotiabank (via SoberLook) shows when leading financials institutions believe the Fed will first ease. The majority favors a tapering in September, but several others think it will not happen until December. In any case, at this point the vast majority of analysts suggest that a reduction in securities purchases will surely occur before the end of 2013.