Bernanke reiterated what he said in the Jan statement, “the FOMC continues to anticipate that economic conditions-including low rates of resource utilization, subdued inflation trends, and stable inflation expectations-are likely to warrant exceptionally low levels of the fed funds rate for an extended period.” He does follow though that “at some point” they need to begin to tighten monetary conditions. Stating the obvious. On their MBS buying, the program is winding down BUT the FOMC “will continue to evaluate its purchases in light of the evolving economic outlook and conditions in financial markets.” Same wording as in Jan. On the discount rate hike, he said this step along with the expiration of other programs “are not expected to lead to tighter financial conditions for households and businesses and should not be interpreted as signaling any change in the outlook for monetary policy.” No surprises.
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