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Fed Tapers Bond Buying Wednesday, March 19, 4:13 PM ET
The Fed said that information received since the Federal Open Market Committee met in January indicates that growth in economic activity slowed during the winter months, in part reflecting adverse weather conditions. Labor market indicators were mixed but on balance showed further improvement. The unemployment rate, however, remains elevated.
Inflation has been running below the Committee's longer-run objective, but longer-term inflation expectations have remained stable.
The Committee recognizes that inflation persistently below its 2 percent objective could pose risks to economic performance, and it is monitoring inflation developments carefully for evidence that inflation will move back toward its objective over the medium term.
The FOMC decided to make a further measured reduction in the pace of its asset purchases. Beginning in April, the Committee will add to its holdings of agency mortgage-backed securities at a pace of $25 billion per month rather than $30 billion per month, and will add to its holdings of longer-term Treasury securities at a pace of $30 billion per month rather than $35 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 toward its objectives of maximum employment and 2 percent inflation.
The FOMC said that when they decide to begin to remove policy accommodation, they will take a balanced approach consistent with its longer-run goals of maximum employment and inflation of 2 percent.
With the unemployment rate nearing 6 1/2 percent, the Committee has updated its forward guidance. The change in the Committee's guidance does not indicate any change in the Committee's policy intentions as set forth in its recent statements.
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