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US: Federal Reserve keeps interest rate unchanged

The Federal Reserve kept its benchmark rate of interest unchanged at 0.25% Wednesday, but said US economic recovery will rely on the course of the novel coronavirus.

Stressing that the COVID-19 pandemic is causing "tremendous human and economic hardship" across the US and round the world, the Fed said economic activity and employment have picked up in recent months but remain below levels at the start of 2020.

"Weaker demand and significantly lower oil prices are holding down consumer price inflation. Overall financial conditions have improved in recent months, partly reflecting policy measures to support the economy and therefore the flow of credit to US households and businesses," the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) said during a statement.

The financial organisation stressed that the continued public health crisis will stillweigh down economic activity, employment, and inflation within the near term, adding it poses considerable risks to the economic outlook over the medium term.

The FOMC reiterated it aims to attain maximum employment and an rate of inflation of above 2% moderately within thefuture.

"The Committee would be prepared to regulate the stance of monetary policy as appropriate if risks emerge that would impede the attainment of the Committee’s goals," the statement added.


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