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

Nigeria Incumbent in Tight Spot as Poll Nears

Muhammadu Buhari is running a strong challenge to Goodluck Jonathan, amid a faltering economy and Boko Haram security worries More

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo tells VOA that despite her fame, life is still a struggle as she waits for government's promise of support to arrive More

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

At least seven different indigenous groups in Ratanakiri depend mainly on forest products for their survival, say they face loss of their land, traditional way of life 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.
Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grievingi
X
Benno Muchler
March 26, 2015 3:41 PM
Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video US, South Korea Conduct Joint Military Exercises

The Eighth U.S. Army Division and the Eighth Republic of Korea Mechanized Infantry Division put on a well orchestrated show of force for the media this week during their joint military training exercises in South Korea. VOA’s Seoul correspondent Brian Padden was there and reports the soldiers were well disciplined both in conducting a complex live fire exercise and in staying on message with the press.
Video

Video Space Program Status Disappoints 'Last Man on the Moon'

One of the films that drew big crowds last week at the annual South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, tells the story of the last human being to stand on the moon, U.S. astronaut Eugene Cernan. It has been 42 years since Cernan returned from the moon and he laments that no one else has gone there since. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Young Filmmakers Shine Spotlight on Giving Back

A group of student filmmakers from across the United States joined President Barack Obama at the White House this month for the second annual White House Student Film Festival. Fifteen short films were officially selected from more than 1,500 entries by students aged 6 through 18. The filmmakers and their families then joined the president and a group of celebrities for a screening of their films. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video VOA Exclusive: Interview with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, during his first visit as president to Washington, gave a one-on-one interview with VOA Afghan Service reporter Said Suleiman Ashna, about his request for a change in U.S. troop levels, the threat from the Islamic State, and repairing relations with the United States and Pakistan. The interview was held at Blair House, late Sunday, in Pashto.
Video

Video California Science Center Tells Story of Dead Sea Scrolls

The ancient manuscripts were uncovered in the mid-20th century, and they are still yielding clues about life and religious beliefs in ancient Israel. As VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports, an exhibit in Los Angeles shows how modern science is bringing the history of these ancient documents to life.
Video

Video Angelina Jolie Takes Another Bold Step

Hollywood actress and filmmaker Angelina Jolie has revealed she had her ovaries and fallopian tubes removed to lower her odds of getting cancer. Doctors say the huge publicity over her decision will help raise awareness about the importance of cancer screening. VOA’s George Putic has more

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More

World Currencies

EUR
USD
0.9103
JPY
USD
119.37
GBP
USD
0.6704
CAD
USD
1.2481
INR
USD
62.371

Rates may not be current.