August 9, 2011

WASHINGTON (AFP) – The Federal Reserve pledged Tuesday to hold interest rates near zero for two more years and said it was mulling the tools it has to boost a slowing economy.

Meeting as worries grew of a new recession, the Fed’s policy board said growth so far this year had been “considerably slower” than expected.

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It maintained its key interest rate at the ultra-low level of 0-0.25 percent and vowed to keep “exceptionally low” rates “at least through mid-2013.”

“Downside risks to the economic outlook have increased,” the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) said after a one-day meeting.

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