Rate: Remains in a range of zero percent to 0.25 percent
The details: There are still more Americans out of work in the U.S. than when the recession began, although the unemployment rate drops to a five-year low of 7 percent. Consumer confidence is on the rise in December as the year ends.
The Fed announces it will begin to taper its stimulus program, cutting monthly asset purchases from $85 billion to $75 billion. It says it will likely keep the low federal funds rate "well past the time" the unemployment rate drops below 6.5 percent.
"The Fed has recognized that the economy is no longer a basket case," said Joel Naroff, president of Naroff Economic Advisors. "But they’re not ready to commit to cutting all the strings. That’s why they’re tapering."
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The conforming loan limit will stay at $417,000 for one-unit properties in most U.S. counties, the Federal Housing Finance Agency said Wednesday.
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