The Fed's Federal Open Market Committee said Wednesday “a highlyaccommodative stance of monetary policy will remain appropriate fora considerable time” after the asset purchase program ends andeconomic recovery strengthens.

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The committee said keeping the target range for federal funds atzero to .25% would support progress toward maximum employment.

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“The (FOMC) …currently anticipates that this exceptionally lowrange for the federal funds rate will be appropriate at least aslong as the unemployment rate remains above 6.5%, inflation betweenone and two years ahead is projected to be no more than a halfpercentage point above the Committee's 2% longer-run goal, andlonger-term inflation expectations continue to be well anchored,”the Fed said in its announcement.

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The committee said it would also consider “additional measures oflabor market conditions, indicators of inflation pressures andinflation expectations, and readings on financialdevelopments.”

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Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke, Vice Chairman William Dudley, JamesBullard; Charles Evans; Jerome Powell; Eric Rosengren; JeremyStein; Daniel K. Tarullo; and Janet Yellen, President Obama's choice as the new Fed chair, voted infavor of the FOMC monetary policy action.

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Esther George voted against the action. The committee'sstatement said George was “concerned that the continued high levelof monetary accommodation increased the risks of future economicand financial imbalances and, over time, could cause an increase inlong-term inflation expectations.”

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