Fed cuts another $12b from stimulus program
WASHINGTON (AFP) - The Federal Reserve stayed the course on tapering its stimulus for the US economy Wednesday, reducing asset purchases by $10 billion (S$12.7 billion) for the second month in a row.
Amid emerging-market turmoil blamed in part on its stimulus reduction, the Fed, as expected, cut the monthly bond-buying program to $65 billion beginning February and left its benchmark interest rate near zero, citing “growing underlying strength in the broader economy.”
Wrapping up the final meeting of the Federal Open Market Committee under departing Chairman Ben Bernanke, policy makers noted that despite some mixed economic indicators since their December meeting, overall the US economy was doing better.
Information indicates “that growth in economic activity picked up in recent quarters,” the FOMC said in a statement. That was a bit more upbeat than its December assessment of the economy “expanding at a moderate pace.”