May 1, 2013 at 2:14 PM ET
Amid signs of a "spring slump" in the economy, the nation's central bank decided to keep the pedal to the stimulus metal, leaving interest rates at historic lows to help spur demand from businesses, banks and shoppers.
At the end of a regular, two-day meeting, the Federal Reserve Open Market Committee, which sets interest rate policy, said the economy has been expanding at a moderate pace. It also said that labor market conditions have shown some improvement in recent months.
"In particular, the Committee decided to keep the target range for the federal funds rate at 0 to 1/4 percent and currently anticipates that this exceptionally low range for the federal funds rate will be appropriate at least as long as the unemployment rate remains above 6-1/2 percent...," the Fed's statement said.
The central bank also will not alter course on buying $85 billion a month in assets to help keep rates low and spread money through the system. It did warn, however, that it would increase or decrease the pace of those purchases, depending on how the economy is performing.
The Labor Department will give the Fed's jobs outlook a reality check on Friday when it releases its monthly employment report for April. Most economists think the U.S. generated a modest 150,000 jobs last month, barely enough to keep up with labor force growth and not nearly enough to put a dent in the unemployment rate, which came in at 7.6 percent in March.