Fed minutes released

The Federal Open Market Committee released minutes Wednesday from its most recent meeting, which concluded April 29 with the central bank’s policymaking arm holding steady on interest rates.

After slashing its benchmark rate to near zero as the coronavirus pandemic took hold, the FOMC voted to keep the rate there in a range between 0% and 0.25% and not move it until a recovery is firmly in place.

The action came as central bank officials noted the excessive damage the virus was doing to the economy and the potential for damage ahead.

“Participants commented that, in addition to weighing heavily on economic activity in the near term, the economic effects of the pandemic created an extraordinary amount of uncertainty and considerable risks to economic activity in the medium term,” the minutes said.

In addition to the pledge on rates, Chairman Jerome Powell discussed the multiple measures the Fed has taken since early March. The central bank also instituted nearly a dozen liquidity and lending programs aimed at maintaining market function and getting money to needy areas of the economy.

The Federal Open Market Committee released minutes Wednesday of its meeting that concluded April 29.

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