WASHINGTON (March 20, 2013)--The Federal Reserve predicts that unemployment will remain high into 2015, suggesting it will keep short-term interest rates near record lows at least until then.
In its latest economic forecasts, the Fed predicted the unemployment rate will stay above 6.5 percent for about two more years.
The policymakers also expect the economy to grow modestly this year and next despite economic gains so far in 2013.
The Fed's updated forecasts were nearly identical to projections it made in December.
The Fed has said it plans to keep its benchmark rate near zero as long as unemployment exceeds 6.5 percent and the inflation outlook is tame.
Fed policymakers expect the economy to grow as little as 2.3 percent this year, which is not enough to drive down unemployment quickly, and 2.9 percent in 2014.