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WASHINGTON — The Federal Reserve has promised to use its “full range of tools” to pull the country out of a deep recession caused by a global pandemic, signaling that it would keep interest rates low through 2022.
In its semi-annual monetary policy report to Congress, the central bank said Friday that the COVID-19 outbreak was causing “tremendous human and economic hardship across the United States and around the world.”
To combat those hardships, the Fed said it’s “committed to using its full range of tools to support the U.S. economy in this challenging time.”
The Fed’s report comes two days after a policy meeting where the central bank kept it benchmark interest rate at a record low of zero to 0.25% and signaled that it planned to keep it there for some time. The Fed said it would keep buying billions of dollars of Treasury and mortgage-backed securities to support the operations of financial market.
Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell will testify before congressional committees on the new report Tuesday and Wednesday. He is expected to face questioning from lawmakers eager to know how the central bank plans to further support the economy during what is expected to be the steepest economic downturn of the last seven decades.
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