Policy makers at the U.S. central bank are weighing whether to adopt new policies to try to boost the country's sluggish economy.
Officials at the Federal Reserve started a two-day meeting Wednesday and plan to announce any actions they take at mid-day Thursday. The U.S. economy is the world's largest. But it has struggled to recover from the country's deep recession in 2008 and 2009 that has stymied job growth and left the jobless rate above an unusually high 8 percent level for 43 straight months.
U.S. financial analysts say they expect the Fed to start a third round of bond purchases to pump more money into the American economy after buying more than $2 trillion of securities over the last four years. In addition, some experts say they think the policy makers will extend their pledge to keep the central bank's benchmark interest rate near zero into 2015, beyond the late 2014 date it already has set.
Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke said last month that the anemic growth in the number of new jobs in the country is particularly worrisome. The government reported last week that the U.S. labor market added 96,000 jobs in August, well below the pace of earlier in the year.
Some information for this report was provided by AP.