WASHINGTON (AP) - Economists look for the Federal Reserve to keep interest rates steady as it wraps up its policy-setting meeting today, but a lot of attention will be on what the Fed says, not what it does.
The question is whether central bankers may signal when and how they will begin boosting rates in the future.
At issue, is whether the Fed will decide whether to retain its pledge to keep rates at "exceptionally low" levels for an "extended period." Economists generally think "extended period" means at least six more months.
The Fed's statement also will be looked at closely for anything regarding a program that has lowered mortgage interest rates. It is scheduled to end mortgage-securities purchases from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac at the end of this month.