Markets had largely expected the Federal Reserve postpone tapering its bond purchases following the government shutdown and lagging data.
This leaves one more FOMC meeting with a press conference while Bernanke is still Chairman. If he wants to begin tapering under his watch, he will likely do so at the December meeting.
The Fed’s statement suggested that the economy expands at a “moderate pace,” consistent with the previous release that labeled expansion as "moderate." They did note while the labor market has further improved in recent months, the unemployment rate remains elevated and fiscal policy constrained growth.
The FOMC stated in its release that, “Available data suggest that household spending and business fixed investment advanced, while the recovery in the housing sector slowed somewhat in recent months. Fiscal policy is restraining economic growth.”
The Fed also held interest rates at their current near-zero levels as expected.
Read the full FOMC statement below.