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As widely expected, the Federal Reserve kept the target range for the fed funds rate unchanged at 25-50bp at its 15-16 March meeting. The Committee upgraded its assessment of economic activity in the post-meeting statement, stating that -despite soft business fixed investment and net exports- activity has been expanding at a moderate pace, supported by moderate household spending, an improved housing market and additional strength in labor market conditions. Removing the text about the balance of risks, the Fed highlighted the risks from global economic and financial developments.