Fed Slows Pace Of Bond Buying, Keeps Rates Steady — For Now

The Federal Reserve said that it was curtailing its bond purchases to $15 billion per month. It gave no hint when interest rates would rise.

The Federal Reserve said today it will further curtail its bond purchases due to an improving U.S. job market, but offered no hint on when it might start raising short-term interest rates.

A statement from the Federal Reserve Open Market Committee said:

"Beginning in July, the Committee will add to its holdings of agency mortgage-backed securities at a pace of $15 billion per month rather than $20 billion per month, and will add to its holdings of longer-term Treasury securities at a pace of $20 billion per month rather than $25 billion per month," the FOMC said.

"[The] Committee today reaffirmed its view that a highly accommodative stance of monetary policy remains appropriate. In determining how long to maintain the current 0 to 1/4 percent target range for the federal funds rate, the Committee will assess progress--both realized and expected--toward its objectives of maximum employment and 2 percent inflation," it said.

The Associated Press says:

"The Fed also downgraded its forecast for growth for 2014, acknowledging that a harsh winter caused the economy to shrink in the January-March quarter. In addition, the Fed barely raised its forecast for inflation.

"The Fed expects growth to be just 2.1 percent to 2.3 percent this year, down from 2.8 percent to 3 percent in its last projections in March. It thinks inflation will be a slight 1.5 percent to 1.7 percent by year's end, near its earlier estimate."

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