Monetary policymakers voted for the Federal Reserve to keep short-term borrowing rates steady near zero, and to continue to buy at least $ 120 billion in bonds each month.
The committee raised its forecast for future economic growth and inflation.
The median forecast for 2021 GDP went to 6.5%, compared to expectations of 4.2% last December.
Members said the $ 120 billion monthly bond purchase “provides a significant boost to the economy”.
Participants indicated that it is likely that some time will pass until further significant progress is made towards achieving the committee’s objectives to achieve maximum employment and price stability, and that according to the committee’s results-based guidance, asset purchases will continue at the current pace at least until that time.
Officials also indicated that the unemployment rate could fall to 4.5% by the end of the year and inflation could reach 2.2%, slightly above the Fed’s traditional 2% target.
Investors were looking to the minutes for clues about what a rate hike might take in the future and how members felt about a possible lower rate of asset purchase. Fed officials said that even with an expected rise in inflation, they are unlikely to tighten policy until they see “further substantial progress” in their economic goals.
As the meeting approaches, some market experts were speculating that the Fed might at least change the duration of the bonds it was buying to curb the sharp rise this year in long-term Treasury yields.
However, Chairman Jerome Powell and other central bank leaders said they view the interest rate hike as a reflection of stronger growth prospects rather than an uncomfortable inflation pressure.