Fed says economy is improving, but not enough to change QE2
Things looking better, but not good enough to stop QE2 or to raise rates. Via Fed:
Members noted that, while incoming information over the intermeeting period had increased their confidence in the economic recovery, progress toward the Committee's dual objectives of maximum employment and price stability was disappointingly slow. In addition, members generally expected that progress was likely to remain modest, with unemployment and inflation deviating from the Committee's objectives for some time. Accordingly, in their discussion of monetary policy for the period immediately ahead, nearly all Committee members agreed to continue expanding the Federal Reserve's holdings of longer-term securities as announced in November in order to promote a stronger pace of economic recovery and to help ensure that inflation, over time, is at levels consistent with the Committee's mandate. The Committee decided to maintain its existing policy of reinvesting principal payments from its securities holdings into longer-term Treasury securities. In addition, the Committee agreed to continue buying longer-term Treasury securities with the intention of purchasing $600 billion of such securities by the end of the second quarter of 2011, a pace of about $75 billion per month. While the economic outlook was seen as improving, members generally felt that the change in the outlook was not sufficient to warrant any adjustments to the asset-purchase program, and some noted that more time was needed to accumulate information on the economy before considering any adjustment.