By Martin Crutsinger
WASHINGTON: The Federal Reserve has decided against reducing its stimulus for the U.S. economy, saying it will maintain the pace of its bond purchases because it thinks the economy still needs the support.
The Fed says it decided to hold off on slowing the $85 billion a month in bond purchases to see more conclusive evidence that the recovery will be sustained.
In a statement after its meeting, the Fed says that the economy is growing moderately and that some indicators of labor market conditions have shown improvement. But it noted that rising mortgage rates and government spending cuts are restraining growth.
The bond purchases are intended to keep long-term loan rates low to spur borrowing and spending.
Many thought the Fed would scale back its purchases, despite mixed economic reports.