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The committee has elected to reduce the monthly pace of its quantitative easing program by another $10 billion and scrap the 6.5% unemployment-rate threshold that previously characterized its forward guidance on the likely future path of short-term interest rates, as was largely expected.
The new forward guidance reads as follows: "The Committee continues to anticipate, based on its assessment of these factors, that it likely will be appropriate to maintain the current target range for the federal funds rate for a considerable time after the asset purchase program ends, especially if projected inflation continues to run below the Committee's 2 percent longer-run goal, and provided that longer-term inflation expectations remain well anchored."
The statement references the 6.5% threshold set by the introduction of the "Evans rule" that previously formed the core of forward guidance: "With the unemployment rate nearing 6-1/2 percent, the Committee has updated its forward guidance. The change in the Committee's guidance does not indicate any change in the Committee's policy intentions as set forth in its recent statements."
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