It was the central bank's first meeting since it adopted a new strategy in August that will keep the benchmark federal funds rate near zero, even after inflation has surpassed its 2% target
The Federal Reserve concluded its final policy-setting meeting before the November presidential election on Wednesday with a renewed pledge to continue taking aggressive action to support the U.S. economy during the coronavirus-induced downturn.
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The U.S. central bank, as widely expected, held the benchmark federal funds rate at a range between 0 percent and 0.25 percent, where it has been since mid-March. Updated guidance shows that Fed officials expect rates to remain near-zero through 2023.
It was the central bank's first meeting since it adopted a new strategy in August that will keep the benchmark federal funds rate near zero, even after inflation has surpassed its 2% target.
According to the new rule, "following periods when inflation has been running persistently below 2%, appropriate monetary policy will likely aim to achieve inflation moderately above 2% for some time.”
The purpose is to help the nation achieve full employment; in the past, the central bank would hike interest rates when unemployment fell because it assumed inflation, once one of the biggest threats to the economy, was rising.
The Fed has already taken a range of extraordinary actions to support the economy, including slashing interest rates to near-zero in March, purchasing an unlimited amount of Treasurys (a practice known as quantitative easing) and launching nine lending facilities to ensure that credit flows to businesses and Wall Street banks. Read more at FOX News