Federal Reserve stays course amid 'paused' economy
Washington - The US Federal Reserve left interest rates near zero and maintained its injection of cash into the financial system, even after Wednesday's unexpected report of stalled economic growth to end 2012.
The central bank said in a statement following its regular meeting that "growth in economic activity paused in recent months, in large part because of weather-related disruptions and other transitory factors." Inflation expectations remain low and "stable."
The Federal Reserve said it expects to leave interest rates at historic lows for "a considerable time." The bank said it would continue monthly purchases of 85 billion dollars in government bonds, intended to force investors to put their money into the private economy and "maintain downward pressure" on long-term interest rates.//DPA