WASHINGTON, Oct. 30 (UPI) -- The U.S. Federal Reserve left its fiscal policy intact Wednesday despite stating that the economy was in better shape than it was a year ago.
"The [Open Market] Committee decided to await more evidence that progress will be sustained before adjusting the pace or its purchases," the Fed said in a statement. The Fed also said, as expected, that it would keep the federal fund rate at zero to 0.25 percent,
Investors have been focused on the Fed since June, when Chairman Ben Bernanke opened up the discussion on a possible roll back of the quantitative easing program that involved $85 billion per month is asset purchasing, a program designed to keep long-term interest rates low and convince businesses that long-term risk would remain affordable.
Despite the announcement, markers remained in negative territory Wednesday. Crude oil on the New York Mercantile Exchange dipped under $97 per barrel, down $1.42 to $96.78, a drop of 1.41 percent. Gold on the Comex division of the exchange shed $5.10, or 0.36 percent, to $1,340.60 per troy ounce.
The Fed acknowledged the recovery in the housing market, which is viewed as a cornerstone to the recovery has "slowed somewhat in recent months."
The Fed also pointed a finger at Washington. "Fiscal policy is restraining economic growth," the Fed said.