Fed Slows Pace Of Bond Buying, Keeps Rates Steady — For Now
This post was updated at 5:30 p.m. ET.
The Federal Reserve said today it will further curtail its bond purchases because of an improving U.S. job market, but it offered no hint as to 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] 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."
In a news conference later, Fed Chair Janet Yellen said: "The Committee believes that economic activity is rebounding in the current quarter and will continue to expand at a moderate pace thereafter."
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."