US Fed maintains its stance on QE

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The Independent Online

The Federal Reserve stood by its $600bn (£378bn) quantitative easing programme last night, despite signs that the US economy is picking up.

The US central bank ended its two-day interest rate review meeting with a statement that signalled improving prospects for the world's largest economy. At its November meeting, the Fed launched a new round of bond purchases in an effort to subdue market interest rates, stoke economic growth and bring down unemployment.

The bank remains committed to buying about $75bn in new bonds every month until the middle of this year. Encouraging data released yesterday showed that new house sales jumped by 18 per cent in December, more than had been expected.