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US: Fed keeps near-zero rates, sees gradual rebound

25 Jun 2009 4:29 AM

WASHINGTON, June 24 AFP - The Federal Reserve on Wednesday held its base rate near zero, as it predicted a "gradual resumption of sustainable economic growth" without inflationary pressures.

Concluding a two-day meeting, the policymaking Federal Open Market Committee, as widely expected, left the base federal funds rate in a range of zero to 0.25 per cent.

The FOMC said the economy remained weak but was showing signs of improvement.

"Information received since the Federal Open Market Committee met in April suggests that the pace of economic contraction is slowing," the panel said.

"Although economic activity is likely to remain weak for a time, the Committee continues to anticipate that policy actions to stabilise financial markets and institutions, fiscal and monetary stimulus, and market forces will contribute to a gradual resumption of sustainable economic growth in a context of price stability."