FED HOLDS INTEREST RATES STEADY NEAR ZERO

The Federal Reserve held short-term borrowing rates near zero in a decision Thursday that characterized the economy as growing but not near where it was before the coronavirus pandemic hit.

As markets widely expected, the Fed kept its benchmark interest rate anchored in a range between 0%-0.25%, where it has been since an emergency cut seven months ago in the early days of the coronavirus pandemic.

There were few language changes in the post-meeting statement from the Federal Open Market Committee, though the panel did note that the economy continues to struggle.

“Economic activity and employment have continued to recover but remain well below their levels at the beginning of the year,” the statement said.

The language is a slight downgrade from the September statement that noted economic activity had “picked up in recent months.”