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Fed keeps key funds rate at 1%

March 17, 2004

Despite lowered risk of deflation, new hiring has 'lagged'


Inman News

The Federal Reserve's Open Market Committee decided today to keep its target for the federal funds rate at 1 percent.

The Fed said that the upside and downside risks to the attainment of sustainable growth for the next few quarters are roughly equal.

The Fed said that the probability of an unwelcome fall in inflation has diminished in recent months and now appears almost equal to that of a rise in inflation.

The evidence accumulated over the intermeeting period indicates that output is continuing to expand at a solid pace, according to the Fed. Although job losses have slowed, new hiring has lagged. Increases in core consumer prices are muted and expected to remain low.

With inflation quite low and resource use slack, the Fed believes that it can be patient in removing its policy accommodation.

Copyright: Inman News Features



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