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This article is more than 1 month old.

Fed keeps key interest rates near zero, says economic recovery on track: Highlights

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The Fed offered no clues about when it will start to tightened its ultra loose monetary policy that it introduced in 2020 to battle the economic fallout from the pandemic.

Fed keeps key interest rates near zero, says economic recovery on track: Highlights
The Federal Reserve kept key policy rates unchanged at the end of a two-day meeting on Wednesday as widely expected, and maintained that the US economy remains on track despite a spike in coronavirus cases. The US central bank, however, offered no clues about when it will start to tighten its ultra loose monetary policy for the world's largest economy that it introduced in 2020 to battle the economic fallout from the pandemic.
The US job market still had "some ground to cover" before it would be time to pull back from economic support, Chairman Jerome Powell said after the much-awaited scheduled policy review. "Right now, it is not the ideal time to think about raising interest rates. Instead, the Fed is focusing on asset purchases," he said. He suggested that the Delta variant of the deadly virus poses little threat to the economy, at least so far.
For now, the central bank is purchasing $120 billion in Treasury and mortgage bonds each month to support the US economy.
Wall Street ended on a mixed note after an initial spike and the greenback slid. The Dow Jones Industrial Average ended 0.36 percent lower at 34,930.93, the S&P 500 slipped 0.02 percent to 4,400.64 and the tech stocks-heavy Nasdaq Composite jumped 0.70 percent to shut shop at 14,762.58.
The dollar index -- which gauges the American currency against six peers -- declined 0.10 percent to 92.2290.
Brent crude oil futures slipped to the $74.69 per barrel mark. US stockpiles last week dropped to their lowest since January 2020 while imports and production declined. WTI oil futures edged lower to $72.35 per barrel.
Here are the highlights of Fed's latest policy meeting:
  • Fed keeps benchmark interest rates unchanged at 0-0.25 percent, says economy continues to progress despite Covid spread
  • Hints at progress on talks on tapering of bond buys but gives no timeline
  • Wants to see substantial further progress toward goals of maximum employment, price stability before considering reducing bond buys
  • Says indicators of economic activity, employment have continued to strengthen
  • Says US economy has kept strengthening despite rise in infections
  • FOMC to continue to assess progress in coming meetings
  • Fed Chair Jerome Powell acknowledges a fresh outbreak might slow return of workers to jobs market to some extent
  • Fed still expects vaccinations to reduce effect of public health crisis on US economy
  • Jerome Powell
  • :
  • Would want to see some strong job numbers in coming months before reducing bond purchases
  • Seems like we have learned to handle this "with progressively less economic disruption"
  • "Very little support" for cutting $40 billion a month mortgage-backed securities earlier than $80 billion in Treasuries
  • Once the process begins, Fed to taper them at same time
  • Not yet time to think about raising interest rates; Fed has not set a timetable for when to do so
  • Fed wants inflation to moderately exceed its 2 percent average inflation target, to show signs of remaining above that level
  • Last summer's wave of infections had inflicted less damage to US economy that many analysts had forecast
  • We have kind of learned to live with it, a lot of industries have kind of improvised their way around it; seems like we have learned to handle this