The economy continues to progress at a solid pace since the Federal Open Market Committee last met in December, the latest meeting minutes said.

“Labor market conditions have improved further, with strong job gains and a lower unemployment rate. On balance, a range of labor market indicators suggests that underutilization of labor resources continues to diminish. Household spending is rising moderately; recent declines in energy prices have boosted household purchasing power,” the minutes said.

The committee chose to reaffirm its view that the current 0% to .25% target range for the federal funds rate remains appropriate.

The committee will assess progress — both realized and expected — toward its objectives of maximum employment and 2% inflation in order to determine how long to maintain this target range.

Based on its current assessment, the committee said that it can be patient in beginning to normalize the stance of monetary policy. 

In addition, the FOMC will maintain its existing policy of reinvesting principal payments from its holdings of agency debt and agency mortgage-backed securities in agency mortgage-backed securities and of rolling over maturing Treasury securities at auction.

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