The Federal Reserve said today it would keep current interest rates at the same level through at least the middle of 2013.
The decision, which was made after a meeting of the Fed’s Open Market Committee, was prompted by the central bank’s desire to “promote the ongoing economic recovery and to help ensure that inflation, over time.’’
The Fed’s target federal funds rate, currently between 0 and .25%, is the interest rate at which depository institutions lend balances at the Federal Reserve to other depository institutions overnight.
The committee, which supported the action 7-3, said it had looked at a range of options to stimulate the economy but wasn’t going to employ any but is “prepared to employ these tools as appropriate.”
NAFCU Chief Economist Tun Wai said the decision indicates that Fed is taking a “fairly steady” approach because that is what the market needs.”
CUNA Chief Economist Bill Hampel said he wasn’t surprised by the decision because the Fed is “going to do all that it can to avoid a double dip recession.’’
He also said that if the economy grows at a faster pace than it currently is then the Fed will revisit its decision about keeping interest rates unchanged.
The current rates have been in place December 2008.