Written by Paul Davidson
The Federal Reserve said Wednesday that it will likely keep its key interest rate near zero until the economy reaches full employment and inflation runs “moderately” above its 2% goal for “some time,” a vow that economists say is likely to keep rates at rock bottom for the next four to five years.
The central bank made the market-friendly commitment sooner than many top economists anticipated and it drove the Dow more than 150 points higher before the market gave back the gains on persistent tech stock jitters. .
The Fed’s assertion is consistent with its new policy framework unveiled last month, which states that officials will no longer preemptively raise rates as unemployment falls to head off a potential spike in inflation. Rather, the Fed will allow inflation to edge above 2% for a time to make up for years of persistently low inflation and to bolster job gains.
The Fed plans to keep its benchmark short-term rate near zero until “labor market conditions have reached levels consistent with the committee’s assessments of maximum employment and inflation has risen to 2% and is on track to moderately exceed 2% for some time,” the Fed said in a statement after a two-day meeting.”
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