Fed Maintains Interest Rates Near Zero as Recovery Weakens

As expected, the Federal Reserve will continue to keep its target range for the federal funds rate at zero to 0.25% to support the U.S. economy during this “challenging time,” the Federal Open Market Committee said today. The committee said it will maintain that range of the federal funds rate until labor market conditions have reached levels consistent with its assessments of maximum employment and inflation has risen to 2% and is on track to moderately exceed 2% for some time.

The FOMC added that the pace of the economic recovery has moderated in recent months, with weakness concentrated in the sectors most affected by the pandemic and that the path of the economy will depend significantly on the course of the virus, including progress on vaccinations.

In a press conference after the release of the FOMC statement, Fed Chairman Jerome Powell said that “the main thing about the economy is getting the pandemic under control, getting everyone vaccinated, getting people wearing masks. That’s the single most important economic growth policy that we can have.”