The economy “has been expanding moderately, notwithstanding some slowing in global growth” in recent weeks, the Federal Reserve just reported.
In a statement timed for release at the end of their most recent meetings, Fed policymakers also said they expect economic growth in coming quarters “to be modest,” that the jobless rate will “decline only gradually” and that inflation will run “at … or below” levels the central bank wants to see.
So, the policymakers announced, they expect to keep interest rates at the current incredibly low levels — and may need to do so “at least through late 2014.”
One way of looking at all that: While the economy is getting better, things aren’t going to be really rolling — and threatening to send inflation higher — anytime soon.
Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke is due to take questions from reporters at 2:15 p.m. ET. We’ll update with news from that session.