Federal Reserve officials boosted their projections for 2013-2014 economic growth and said they would begin a third round of asset purchases to spur the U.S. economy, Bloomberg reported.
The Fed said it would boost its economic stimulus efforts by buying $40 billion in mortgage-backed securities monthly to help boost the lagging job market, the Wall Street Journal reported.
Stock markets responded with a strong day Thursday, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average jumping more than 200 points to an almost five-year high, the Journal reported.
The Federal Open Market Committee upgraded its 2013 gross domestic product growth estimate to a range of 2.5% to 3%, from a previous 2.2% to 2.8%, and its 2014 estimate to a 3% to 3.8% range, from 3% to 3.5%.
The FOMC, which met Thursday, also held the federal funds rate — the rate banks charge each other — at a zero to 0.25% rate, where it has been since December 2008.