News / Economy

US Central Bank to Hold Interest Rates Low

A television screen at the post of specialist Stephen Ruiz, left, displays the decision of the Federal Reserve, on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange Tuesday, Aug. 9, 2011.
A television screen at the post of specialist Stephen Ruiz, left, displays the decision of the Federal Reserve, on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange Tuesday, Aug. 9, 2011.

Multimedia

Michael Bowman

The U.S. central bank says America’s economic recovery has slowed, and that near-zero interest rates are expected to remain in place for another year. The statement from Federal Reserve policymakers came after a U.S. credit rating downgrade and significant losses on global financial markets.

If nervous investors were looking for swift, aggressive action from the Federal Reserve in response to the U.S. credit rating downgrade, lagging economic growth, and upheaval in financial markets, Tuesday’s meeting of Fed policymakers gave them little to cheer about.

With interest rates already at historic lows, the U.S. central bank announced no interest rate or policy changes, nor any new rounds of monetary infusions. That, despite noting what the Fed termed heightened “downside” risks to an economic recovery that many economists believe is stalling.

Even so, the Federal Reserve did not rule out future action, saying its Open Market Committee discussed a “range of policy tools available to promote a stronger economic recovery.”

Bank of New York Mellon global financial strategist Jack Malvey said, “I think they [Federal Reserve officials] would prefer to see the markets try and reach equilibrium on their own," said Malvey. "This [market upheaval] really is not [a repeat of the financial crisis of] 2008. This is a response to an overload of negative factors over the course of the last couple of weeks. And it does provide some basis for optimism and not-too-distant [market] stabilization.”

Malvey appeared on Bloomberg Television. He said market fears of another recession in the United States have eclipsed those stemming from Standard & Poor’s downgrade of U.S. creditworthiness. “The chances of a recession in the U.S. are probably up in the 50-percent category [range]. In many respects, the [S&P] downgrade was no big deal. It was in recognition of what was fairly obvious over the last year, that the U.S. fiscal position is not as strong as it had been," he said.

A slowing U.S. economy will exacerbate America’s fiscal imbalances. Yet a $1.5 trillion deficit gives the federal government little room to stimulate growth. Given these realities, the Obama administration is advocating short-term measures to spur job growth and consumer activity while also urging long-term efforts to cut the deficit and slow the growth of the national debt.

Gene Sperling, who heads President Barack Obama’s National Economic Council, also appeared on Bloomberg Television. “We need to do both the short-term and the long-term. And the best thing we can have is that we are willing to take aggressive bipartisan action on job growth in the short-term, in the same context in which we are also signaling that we are going to get control of our long-term fiscal situation," he said.

Sperling said the administration wants to see an extension of a temporary cut in taxes paid by workers to fund Social Security, thereby giving wage earners higher take-home pay. Monday, President Obama renewed his call for a bipartisan formula to reduce America’s debt burden. Washington’s lack of progress in confronting America’s fiscal challenges was listed as a primary factor in Standard & Poor’s decision to cut the U.S. credit rating last week.

Related story by VOA's Mil Arcega

You May Like

Uganda Court Annuls Anti-Gay Law

Court says law was passed in parliament without enough members present for a full quorum More

Multimedia Thailand Makes Efforts to Improve Conditions for Migrant Laborers

In Thailand, its not uncommon for parents to bring their children to work; one company, in-collaboration with other organizations, address safety concerns More

In Indonesia, Jihad Video Raises Concern

Video calls on Indonesians to join Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, ISIL More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
In Thailand, Some Efforts to Improve Conditions For Migrant Laborersi
X
Steve Herman
August 01, 2014 6:22 PM
Thailand has been facing increasing international scrutiny as a hub of human trafficking and slave labor. Some of the kingdom’s companies are striving to improve working conditions, especially for the millions of migrant laborers from surrounding countries. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman in Bangkok takes a look at one initiative for children at construction sites
Video

Video In Thailand, Some Efforts to Improve Conditions For Migrant Laborers

Thailand has been facing increasing international scrutiny as a hub of human trafficking and slave labor. Some of the kingdom’s companies are striving to improve working conditions, especially for the millions of migrant laborers from surrounding countries. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman in Bangkok takes a look at one initiative for children at construction sites
Video

Video Public Raises its Voice on Power Plant Pollution

In the United States, proposed rules to cut pollution from the nation’s 600 coal-fired power plants are generating a heated debate. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, charged with writing and implementing the plan, has already received 300,000 written comments. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, another 1,600 people are lining up this week at EPA headquarters and at satellite offices around the country to give their testimony in person.
Video

Video Information War Rages Alongside Real One in Ukraine

The downing of the Malaysian airliner two weeks ago, and allegations that Russians are shelling Ukrainian troops across the border, have moved the information war swirling around the Ukrainian conflict to a new level. VOA's Al Pessin reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video When Fighting Eases, Gazans Line Up at Bakeries

When there is a lull in the conflict in Gaza, residents who have been hunkered down in their apartments rush out to stock up on food and other necessities. Probably the most important destination is the local bakery. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Gaza City.
Video

Video China Investigates Powerful Former Security Chief

The public in China is welcoming the Communist Party's decision to investigate one of the country's once most powerful politicians, former domestic security chief Zhou Yongkang. Analysts say the move by President Xi Jinping is not only an effort to win more support for the party, but an essential step to furthering much needed economic reforms and removing those who would stand in the way of change. VOA's Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video US-Funded Program Offers Honduran Children Alternative to Illegal Immigration

President Obama and Central American leaders recently agreed to come up with a plan to address poverty and crime in the region that is fueling the surge of young migrants trying to illegally enter the United States. VOA’s Brian Padden looks at one such program in Honduras - funded in part by the United States - which gives street kids not only food and safety but a chance for a better life without, crossing the border.
Video

Video 'Fab Lab' Igniting Revolution in Kenya

The University of Nairobi’s Science and Technology Park is banking on 3-D prototyping to spark a manufacturing revolution in the country. Lenny Ruvaga has more for from Nairobi's so-called “FabLab” for VOA.
Video

Video Immigrant Influx on Texas Border Heats Up Political Debate

Immigrants from Central America continue to cross the U.S.-Mexico border in south Texas, seeking asylum in the United States, as officials grapple with ways to deal with the problem and provide shelter for thousands of minors among the illegal border crossers. As VOA's Greg Flakus reports from Houston, the issue is complicated by internal U.S. politics and U.S. relations with the troubled nations that immigrants are fleeing.

AppleAndroid

World Currencies

EUR
USD
0.7305
JPY
USD
101.53
GBP
USD
0.5830
CAD
USD
1.0656
INR
USD
60.075

Rates may not be current.