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For Now, Fed Will Stand Firm On Bond Buying

The Federal Reserve's message, at least for now, is to take a wait-and-see approach to the economy before tapering off on its bond-buying program.

In a statement issued after Wednesday's meeting, the Federal Open Market Committee said that while it has seen signs of "growing underlying strength in the broader economy" it awaits "more evidence that progress can be sustained."

As a result, the FOMC says it has "decided to continue purchasing additional agency mortgage-backed securities at a pace of $40 billion per month and longer-term Treasury securities at a pace of $45 billion per month."

The committee said it would keep the federal funds rate at 0 to 1/4 percent for now and anticipates keeping it there "at least as long as the unemployment rate remains above 6.5 percent" and inflation holds steady.

NPR's Neal Carruth points out a subtle but important difference from last month's statement, when the Fed said the housing sector was strengthening. On Wednesday, it changed it's tune slightly, saying, "the recovery in the housing sector slowed somewhat in recent months."

Stocks fell in volatile trading after the announcement.

The Associated Press reports:

"The Fed again noted that budget policies in Washington have restrained growth, but it made no mention of the 16-day government shutdown. However, the Fed no longer expressed concerns about higher mortgage rates, a concern it flagged in September.

"The Fed's policy decision was approved on a 9-1 vote with Esther George, the president of the Kansas City Federal Reserve Bank, dissenting as she has done at each of the central bank's seven meetings this year."

Copyright 2013 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

NPR

Peruvians Love Their Chicha Street Art. The Government ... Not So Much

Walk down a street in Peru and you'll likely see an example of the glow-in-the-dark posters and murals. Lots of people love them. But the upper crust — and the government — aren't impressed.
NPR

Tea-Infused Sweets: Chocolate + Jasmine Tea Is A Match Made In Heaven

Smoky and floral brews can provide a kick of flavor to desserts, especially when blended with chocolate. Pastry chef Naomi Gallego shows us a few tricks for surprising the palate with tea.
WAMU 88.5

America's First Ladies

They walk a tricky line: closest adviser to the President of the United States and hostess in chief. A new book examines the evolution of the role of first lady of the United States.

WAMU 88.5

E-Cigarettes and Vaping

Last week, the D.C. Council voted to designate e-cigarettes and "similar vapor products containing nicotine" as tobacco products. That means that their sales tax will jump from the regular 5.75% sales tax to the 70% tax that's tacked onto sales of products like cigarettes and cigars. We explore what this means for the evolving public health debate surrounding e-cigarettes.

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