Fed Maintains Bond Buying

Posted by Charles Gunning

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The statement contained no new language on the conditions for maintaining the current pace of asset purchases. The Fed repeated the pledge it has used since September that it will continue the purchases until the U.S. labor market outlook has improved substantially. 

Policy makers also left unchanged their commitment to hold the target interest rate near zero as long as the jobless rate remains above 6.5 percent and the outlook for inflation over one to two years doesn’t exceed 2.5 percent.
Speculation about the Fed’s $85 billion in monthly bond purchases has whipsawed stocks since May, when Chairman Ben S. Bernanke first indicated policy makers could begin reducing the stimulus this year if the job market continues to improve.
A Commerce Department report earlier today showed that gross domestic product, the value of all goods and services produced, rose at a 1.7 percent annualized rate, after a 1.1 percent gain the prior quarter. The median forecast of 85 economists surveyed by Bloomberg called for a 1 percent advance for last quarter.