Fed keeps interest rates near 0
The US Federal Reserve on Wednesday kept its benchmark interest rate unchanged at the record-low level of near zero, as inflation debate heats up, driven by COVID-19 vaccination progress and the latest relief package.
The Fed also said it will continue an asset purchase program, and buy at least $120 billion of bonds a month, increasing its holdings of Treasury securities by at least $80 billion and of agency mortgage-backed securities by at least $40 billion.
Fed officials expect the US economy to grow by 6.5% this year, better than the previous projection of 4.2% in December.
Most Fed officials expected that interest rates would remain near zero at least through 2023, but seven out of the 18 participants looked for a hike in 2023.