Federal Reserve Continues Down Road to End Stimulus

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- The Federal Reserve on Wednesday continued to scale back asset purchases and reiterated its decision to maintain the federal funds rate near historic lows for a considerable time after the central bank ends its economic stimulus program.

The Federal Open Market Committee said in a policy-making statement that it would taper its monthly asset purchases to $35 billion from a prior $45 billion.

The Fed said it would keep rates low for a "considerable time" after ending its quantitative easing program, which was reiterating what Fed Chairman Janet Yellen has been saying since March when she roiled markets with a different timeframe.

The FOMC said economic activity will continue at a "moderate" pace and the labor market will continue to "improve gradually."

"The Committee currently judges that there is sufficient underlying strength in the broader economy to support ongoing improvement in labor market conditions," the statement said.

Yellen is expected to hold a press conference on Wednesday around 2:30 p.m. ET

Below is the entire FOMC statement:

Release Date: June 18, 2014

For immediate release

Information received since the Federal Open Market Committee met in April indicates that growth in economic activity has rebounded in recent months. Labor market indicators generally showed further improvement. The unemployment rate, though lower, remains elevated. Household spending appears to be rising moderately and business fixed investment resumed its advance, while the recovery in the housing sector remained slow. Fiscal policy is restraining economic growth, although the extent of restraint is diminishing. Inflation has been running below the Committee's longer-run objective, but longer-term inflation expectations have remained stable.

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