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Powell Sees Light at End of Tunnel and Policy Staying Very Easy

  • Will keep buying bonds until economic progress ‘substantial’
  • Fed holds rates near zero, signals staying there through 2023
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Fed Promises to Maintain Massive Asset Purchase Program

Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell sounded the most optimistic he’s been since the coronavirus crisis began in March, while pledging that the central bank will keep providing the economy with plenty of support well into the future.

Speaking to reporters on Wednesday after the Fed’s last policy making meeting of a tumultuous year, Powell said he expects the economy to perform “strongly” in the second half of 2021 as more and more Americans are vaccinated against the virus -- though he cautioned that the next few months would be “challenging” until that occurs.