The Federal Reserve signaled Wednesday that it was likely to hold interest rates near zero through 2022 — an indication that central bank policymakers see a long road to recovery from the economic devastation wrought by the coronavirus pandemic.
The Fed sounded an encouraging note about improved financial conditions and predicted that the economy would make up considerable lost ground next year. But officials by and large do not expect the nation to get back to full employment until after 2022.
The Fed’s unemployment projections were nonetheless more positive than recent forecasts from the Congressional Budget Office and many private analysts, probably reflecting Friday’s surprising employment report for May. That showed large job gains and a drop in the unemployment rate, to 13.3% from 14.7% in April.