The Federal Reserve affirmed its plan to purchase $600 billion of Treasury bonds through June, while holding the federal funds target rate in the zero to 0.25% range, the Federal Open Market Committee announced Wednesday.
For the first time in over a year, the FOMC decision was unanimous, breaking a string of dissenting votes cast in 2010. The primary discount rate was unchanged at 0.75%. On inflation, the Fed acknowledged rising commodity prices.
Some Fed watchers had expected the addition of two dissenters to the voting panel to breed more debate in their first appearance, but the FOMC spoke with a single voice.
“The vote on the FOMC was unanimous today, but one could well ask, for how long?” Chris Rupkey, chief financial economist at Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ, said Wednesday. “Today was not the day to start the move to dismantling the Fed’s doubly-easy monetary, QE2, and super-low rates, but the day is coming.”