WASHINGTON — The Federal Reserve held the federal funds target rate range between zero and 0.25% and offered no indication that it would extend its Treasury purchase program beyond the end of the month, the Federal Open Market Committee announced Wednesday.
The committee said the economic recovery is continuing, “though somewhat more slowly” than expected. It said this slower pace is “temporary” and that it expects “the pace of recovery to pick up over coming quarters.”
The Fed repeated its language that it is committed to “exceptionally low levels” for the federal funds rate “for an extended period.”
The central bank also kept the discount rate unchanged at 0.75%. The vote on the decision was unanimous. The federal funds rate range has been in place since December 2008.
Higher food and fuel prices, combined with supply-chain disruptions from the “tragic events in Japan,” are contributing to the slower pace of economic growth, the Fed said. Housing continued to be “depressed” and commercial building investment “is still weak,” it added.
The Fed affirmed it will continue to reinvest principal payments from its securities holdings.