The Federal Reserve on Wednesday pressed ahead with its plan to wind down its bond-buying stimulus and upgraded its assessment of the US economy, while reaffirming it is in no rush to raise interest rates.
* The central bank cut its monthly asset purchases to $25 billion from $35 billion, leaving it on course to shutter the program this fall.
* The Fed reiterated that it would likely keep rates near zero for a “considerable time” after its bond buying ends and restated that an “accommodative” policy was needed.
* The Fed has kept overnight rates near zero since December 2008 and has more than quadrupled its balance sheet to $4.4 trillion through a series of bond purchase programs.
* It cited improving labor market conditions and declining unemployment and acknowledged rising inflation.
* Although Fed Chair Janet Yellen believes the nation’s 6.1 percent unemployment rate overstates the health of the jobs market, she warned earlier this month that a rate hike could come “sooner and be more rapid than currently envisioned” if labor markets continue to improve more quickly than anticipated.