2:03pm

Wed April 27, 2011
Planet Money

3 Key Points From Today's Fed Statement

Yes, Ben Bernanke's hosting a press conference today. But if the Fed had any real news to release, it probably would have done so it in the official statement it just put out.

The statement, not surprisingly, had no surprises — no real news.

It did make three important (if widely expected) points:

1. The Fed's $600 billion bond-buying spree will run through June, as planned. It won't be extended, and it won't end early. The spree was launched last summer, to stimulate the economy. Its formal name is quantitative easing; its nickname is QE 2.

2. Inflation, as measured by the Fed, is still "somewhat low." Yes, the Fed knows the price of oil and other commodities is going through the roof. But it expects the inflationary effects of these price rises to be "transitory." Commodity prices can't rise forever, and they tend to bounce around a lot more than the price of other goods.

3. The Fed's leaders are still worried about unemployment. So they plan to keep short-term interest rates near zero for an "extended period," a policy that's been in place for more than two years now. Copyright 2011 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.