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U.S. Fed remains ultra-loose monetary policy to boost growth

03-14-2012 08:13 BJT

WASHINGTON, March 13 (Xinhua) -- U.S. Federal Reserve announced on Tuesday that it will remain the current ultra-loose monetary policy to support economic recovery.

"The economy has been expanding moderately. Labor market conditions have improved further; the unemployment rate has declined notably in recent months but remains elevated. Household spending and business fixed investment have continued to advance," the central bank said in a statement after its Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meeting held on Tuesday.

The U.S. housing sector remained depressed. Inflation has been subdued in recent months, although prices of crude oil and gasoline have increased lately. The recent increase in oil and gasoline prices will push up inflation temporarily, but longer- term inflation expectations have remained stable, noted participants of the FOMC meeting, the powerful interest rate setting panel.

Against the backdrop of low rates of resource utilization and a subdued outlook for inflation over the medium run, the Fed reaffirmed the policy decision to keep the exceptionally low levels of federal funds rate in current range of 0-0.25 percent at least through late 2014 to bolster economic recovery, an ultra- loose monetary stance announced by the Fed in January.

"The Committee expects moderate economic growth over coming quarters and consequently anticipates that the unemployment rate will decline gradually toward levels that the Committee judges to be consistent with its dual mandate," said the Fed.

The U.S. Labor Department last week reported that the U.S. unemployment rate remained flat in February at 8.3 percent after declining for five consecutive months.

Strains in global financial markets have eased, though they continued to pose significant downside risks to the economic outlook, noted the statement.

The Fed unveiled no further steps including another round of bond buying program to shore up the recovery, as the recent string of positive economic news suggested that the recovery was on a stronger footing and FOMC members were split in their views of appropriate monetary policy action.

The statement was approved on a 9-1 vote. Jeffrey Lacker, President of the Richmond regional Fed bank, voted against the FOMC statement for the second straight meeting, as he "does not anticipate that economic conditions are likely to warrant exceptionally low levels of the federal funds rate through late 2014".

Editor:Wang Lingfei |Source: Xinhua

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