Fed Still Focused on Labor Weakness

The Federal Reserve on Wednesday upgraded its assessment of the U.S. economy, taking note of a decline in the jobless rate and signaling more comfort that inflation was moving up toward its target.

Still, after a two-day meeting, Fed policymakers reiterated concerns about slack in the labor market and reaffirmed that it is in no rush to raise interested rates.  As widely expected, the central bank cut its monthly asset purchases to $25 billion from $35 billion, leaving it on course to shutter the program this fall.

“Labor market conditions improved, with the unemployment rate declining further,” the Fed said in a statement. “However, a range of labor market indicators suggests that there remains significant underutilization of labor resources.”

Reuters

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