America

With Economy 'Expanding Moderately,' Fed Leaves Interest Rates Unchanged

Citing an economy that is "expanding moderately," an improving labor market and subdued inflation — but a housing sector that "remains depressed" — the Federal Reserve just announced it is holding to its current policy on short-term interest rates.

The central bank's policymakers also said they expect "moderate economic growth over coming quarters" and that the jobless rate will continue to "decline gradually."

The decision on rates was widely anticipated. It means that the Fed's "target range" for the federal funds rate, which in turn influences all sorts of short-term rates, remains "0 to 1/4 percent."

In New York, stocks have been higher all day and remain so after the Fed announcement. The Dow Jones industrial average is up about 110 points (0.85 percent), to around 13,070.

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