17 Mar '11, 8am

Upbeat Fed assessment 'good news for Asia'

SINGAPORE - The Federal Reserve's upbeat assessment of the United States economy is good news for Asian policy-makers who are struggling to manage the appreciation pressure on their currencies and rising asset prices. The US central bank's policy setting Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) said on Tuesday that the recovery in the world's biggest economy was on a "firmer footing" than it thought previously. The FOMC also said that "conditions in the labour market appear to be improving gradually". This comes after the US economy added 192,000 jobs last month, while the unemployment rate dipped slightly to 8.9 per cent. The Fed, however, made no change to its interest rates, which remain at a record low 0-0.25 per cent. It also made no change to its quantitative easing or "QE2" policy, in which the Fed aims to purchase US$600 billion (S$768 billion) of treasury bonds by the...

Full article: http://www.todayonline.com/Business/EDC110317-0001029/Upb...

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