Fed keeps rate at record low, ends bond buying
WASHINGTON - The Federal Reserve plans to keep a key interest rate at a record low to support a U.S. job market that isn't fully healthy and help lift inflation from unusually low levels. As expected, it's also ending a bond purchase program that was intended to keep long-term rates low.
The Fed is reiterating its plan to maintain its benchmark short-term rate near zero "for a considerable time." Most economists predict that the Fed won't raise that rate before mid-2015. The Fed's benchmark rate affects the rates on many consumer and business loans.
In a statement ending a policy meeting, the Fed suggests that the job market, though still not back to normal, is improving. The statement drops a previous reference to "significant" in referring to an "underutilization" of available workers.
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