WASHINGTON, April 30 (Xinhua) -- The U.S. Federal Reserve announced on Wednesday that it will continue to reduce the amount of money it is pumping into the recovery since May, as it sees consistent improvement in the world's largest economy.
The Fed decided to continue trimming the monthly bond purchase by 10 billion U.S. dollars to 45 billion U.S. dollars since May, according to a statement released after a meeting of its Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) Wednesday.
"Growth in economic activity has picked up recently, after having slowed sharply during the winter in part because of adverse weather conditions," the statement said.
The Committee sees the risks to the outlook for the economy and the labor market as nearly balanced, and there is sufficient underlying strength in the broader economy to support ongoing improvement in labor market, it noted.
The Committee reaffirmed that a highly accommodative stance of monetary policy remains appropriate. With that policy accommodation, economic activity will expand at a moderate pace and labor market conditions will continue to improve gradually.
"It likely will be appropriate to maintain the current target range for the federal funds rate for a considerable time after the asset purchase program ends, especially if projected inflation continues to run below the Committee's 2 percent longer-run goal, and provided that longer-term inflation expectations remain well anchored," according to the statement.
The U.S. economy grew by a scant 0.1 percent in the first quarter, as the brutally cold weather dampened private investment and personal consumption of goods, the Commerce Department reported Wednesday.
Even so, economists expected the economy would regain momentum in the coming months as the weather began to warm up. The fundamentals of the economy remains sound.
Fed noted labor market indicators were mixed but on balance showed further improvement. The unemployment rate, however, remains elevated.
"Household spending appears to be rising more quickly. Business fixed investment edged down, while the recovery in the housing sector remained slow," it said.
Fed noted 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.
About when to begin to remove policy accommodation, Fed said it will take a balanced approach consistent with its longer-run goals of maximum employment and inflation of 2 percent.
Even after employment and inflation are near mandate-consistent levels, economic conditions may, for some time, warrant keeping the target federal funds rate below levels the Committee views as normal in the longer run, it said.
The next FOMC meeting is scheduled to begin on June 17.