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Fed Maintains Interest Rates Near Zero

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The Federal Reserve on Wednesday, April 28, said it would keep short-term interest rates in the range of zero to 0.25% and that rates would stay at that level for “an extended period.” The Fed expected that the benchmark rate would remain “exceptionally low” for some time.

Several Fed policy makers have said they are concerned about maintaining this policy for too much longer.

The Federal Open Market Committee, at its monthly meeting said in a statement, “Growth in household spending has picked up recently but remains constrained by high unemployment, modest income growth, lower housing wealth, and tight credit.”

The FOMC, the Fed’s policy-making arm, continued, “Business spending on equipment and software has risen significantly; however, investment in nonresidential structures is declining and employers remain reluctant to add to payrolls. Housing starts have edged up but remain at a depressed level. While bank lending continues to contract, financial market conditions remain supportive of economic growth.”

The Fed maintained its characterization of the economic recovery, which it described as moderate, or of its expectations for inflation, which it maintained was “likely to be subdued for some time.”

Read the full version of the FOMC’s statement.


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