WASHINGTON — The Federal Open Market Committee kept the federal funds rate target at zero to 0.25%, saying it anticipates economic conditions to warrant exceptionally low levels for the rate at least through late 2014.

They noted a significant improvement in the unemployment rate, though it remains high, and advances in household spending and business fixed investment. FOMC members said inflation has been subdued in recent months, but noted that the prices of crude oil and gasoline have increased.

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