WASHINGTON — The economic recovery is on “firmer footing” but the Federal Reserve held its benchmark interest rate between zero and 0.25% and did not change its $600 billion Treasury purchase program, the Federal Open Market Committee announced Tuesday.
Energy and commodity prices “are currently putting upward pressure on inflation,” the committee said in a statement. The effects of increased prices are expected to be “transitory,” and long-term inflation expectations “have remained stable,” the FOMC said.
The unemployment rate “remains elevated” but the labor market seems “to be improving gradually,” according to the central bank committee.
The Fed’s $600 billion of Treasury purchases was reaffirmed through June. The FOMC will continue to review the overall size of the program as needed.