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US Fed retains rate at record low, ends bond buying

The timing and pace of interest rate hikes would depend on incoming economic data, the US Federal Reserve said.

By: Reuters | Washington |
October 30, 2014 1:13:27 am

The US Federal Reserve on Wednesday ended its monthly bond purchase programme and signaled confidence that the country’s economic recovery would remain on track despite signs of a slowdown in the global economy.

“The committee continues to see sufficient underlying strength in the broader economy to support ongoing progress toward maximum employment in a context of price stability,” the central bank’s policy committee said in a statement following a two-day meeting.

The statement largely dismissed recent financial market volatility, dimming growth in Europe and a weak inflation outlook as headwinds that would do little to undercut progress toward the US Fed’s unemployment and inflation goals. The Fed pointed to strengthening labour markets, saying that slack in labor markets was “gradually diminishing.”

It retained its basic language regarding interest rates from recent statements, saying that rates would remain low for a “considerable time” following the end of the bond purchases this month.

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The timing and pace of rate hikes would depend on incoming economic data, the Fed said, new language that apparently earned the support of Philadelphia Fed President Charles Plosser and Dallas Fed President Richard Fisher, who dissented at the previous meeting. The decision to shutter the bond-buying programme was almost foregone.

The monthly purchases had been steadily cut from $85 billion to $15 billion as part of the Fed’s gradual turn away from policies launched to fight the 2007-2009 recession and breathe more life into a tepid recovery.

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