The Fed has released its monthly meeting minutes, and as expected, not much has changed.
It will keep interest rates near zero and will continue its monthly bond-buying until the U.S. economy shows more substantive signs of improvement. The Fed also released another round of economic projections.
Here are some of the key numbers investors need to know for the remainder of 2013:
- The Fed projects that the U.S. economy will grow between 2.5% and 2.8%. That’s down from its previous range of 2.3% to 3% growth.
- The unemployment rate, currently at 7.7%, will fall just a few ticks to between 7.3% and 7.5%.
- The Fed will continue to buy back $85 billion in long-term Treasurys and mortgage-backed securities per month until the economy improves enough.
- They will keep short-term interest rates near zero until the unemployment rate dips to 6.5%. Thirteen of the 19 committee members expect that will happen sometime in 2015.
- The Fed’s announcement helped stocks recover much of their losses from the past two Cyprus-centric days. The S&P 500 is up 0.7%, while the Dow increased 0.4%.
Also, Ben Bernanke reiterated his claim that the federal budget cuts scheduled to take effect this month will stymie economic growth if Congress does not reach a deal to impose more gradual cost-cutting measures.